Newsletter of the Cincinnati Section

of the

American Chemical Society

Volume 35 (2)
November 1997

Senior EditorEdward Burton
Assistant EditorDianne Sod
LiaisonJulia Bedell
AdvertisingJackie Hoofring
Stuart Oehrle

CINTACS is published nine times a year (September through May) by the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society in cooperation with the Oesper Collection in the History of Chemistry of the University of Cincinnati. All changes of address should be sent to Emel Yakali at Raymond Walters College, 9555 Plainfield Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236; 745-5686 or 745-5767 (FAX).

Every member is urged to send in their e-mail address. The message should consist of the e-mail address in the "From" area and the full name of the member in the "Subject" area of the message format. Send this information via e-mail to: ACS@UCRWCU.RWC.UC.EDU


The submission deadline for the next Newsletter (December 1997) is Wednesday, October 15, 1997. Deadline for the January 1998 issue is Wednesday, December 1, 1997:

Dr. Edward Burton
Procter & Gamble
P. O. Box 538707
Cincinnati, OH 45253.

Telephone: (513) 627-1494
FAX: (513) 627-1233


Dianne Sod

In This Issue ....



Wednesday, November 12
(Miami University)
Featured Speaker: Dr. James Cowan, The Ohio State University, (Inorganic Biochemistry)
Discussion Groups:
Wednesday, December 3
(Xavier University)
Featured Speaker: Dr. Steven Zimmerman, University of Illinois, (Organic Chemistry)
Discussion Groups:
Wednesday, January 21
(Phoenix Hotel)
Student Affiliates Night, Joint with Iota Sigma Pi
Featured Speaker: Dr. Paul Bash, Argonne National Laoboratories, (Computational Chemistry)
Discussion Groups:


Dr. James A. Cowan
Featured Speaker at the November Meeting

James Allan Cowan was born in Cleland, Scotland in 1961, where he was raised by his parents, James and Helen Cowan. He earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry with first class honors from the University of Glasgow in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 1986, where he worked with Professor J.K.M. Sanders. Dr. Cowan's work with Professor Sanders included the synthesis and study of complex porphyrin derivatives designed as models for the electron transfer events in the photosynthetic reaction center. At the same time he worked with Professor A.D. Buckingham to develop a theory of chiral NMR. After receiveing his doctorate, he was granted a NATO fellowship to study with Professor H.B. Gray at the California Institiute of Technology. Dr. Cowan's studies with Professor Gray continued the theme of long-range electron transfer, with ruthenium-labeled metalloproteins as the subject. In 1988, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Ohio State University. His research at Ohio State has spanned a range of topics in chemistry and biology, leading to nearly 100 research articles, a number of review articles, and three books. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993, and full professor in 1996. His current research includes the reaction mechanisms of oxido-reductase enzymes, the assembly of complex metal cofactors, the biological chemistry of the alkali and alkaline earth ions, the chemisty of viral and regulatory RNA response elements, ion sensors, aminoglycosides, and immunochemistry. Professor Cowan has received numerous awards for this broad spectrum of research, including awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Johnson and Johnson, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, and most recently the Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award from the New Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife of four months, Ada Lui.

Metals in Biology: Rational Design from Mechanistic Understanding

Within the last 10 years the field of inorganic biochemistry has blossomed from developing an understanding of fundamental principles, to one where this accumulated knowledge now forms on-going research in the speaker's laboratory at Ohio State University on the design of proteins, enzymes, and ligands with new recognition properties and reactivities, and the development of novel inorganic pharmaceuticals.


From the Chair

We are happy to be returning to Miami University for our November meeting. The meeting will include two discussion groups, as well as the after-dinner talk by Professor James Cowan of The Ohio State University. I hope you will join us on Miami's beautiful campus Wednesday, November 12.

I am happy to announce that Dr. Ray D'Alonzo of The Procter and Gamble Company will be General Chair of the Central Regional Meeting, which is to be hosted by our section in 2000. Ray is a former treasurer and chair of our section and was elected to a term as alternate councilor in the spring election. He will be forming a team of committee chairs in the near future. I'm sure he will be happy to hear from folks interested in volunteering to work on this event, which is so important to our section

National ACS has embarked on a campaign to increase ACS membership to 175,000 by 2001. An article in the July 28 Chemical and Engineering News discusses this campaign and mentions some of the difficulties of recruiting and retaining young chemists as ACS members. Our own Isabel Caputa of the Younger Chemists Committee is quoted in the article. I'm certain this membership campaign will rely heavily on local sections and it is incumbent on us to support it as much as possible

It's not too late to volunteer for a National Chemistry Week activity. Please call Jody Mesaros or Chris Morrissey if you can participate

The list of Committee Chairs with their addresses, phone numbers, and email is available elsewhere in this issue. Please note also the addition of several officers who were left out last month.

I hope you will read the advertisements found in this and other issues of CINTACS. These ads are bringing substantial financial support to the section and they deserve our attention. If you do business with any of our advertisers, please let them know you saw their ad in CINTACS.

Bill Oliver
Department of Chemistry
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY 41099




Financial Reports

National Allotment$10,428.00$10,500.00
Local section dues$5,133.40$5,000.00
Local affiliate$130.00$100.00
Meeting sponsors$5,550.00$5,500.00
Travel rebate (Councilors)$1,914.52$2,000.00
Short Course$20,400.00$5,000.00
Meal Receipts$11,049.00$10,000.00
TOTAL INCOME$55,779.92$40,600.00
Tax Related$300.00$300.00
Chair-elect Workshop$465.00$500.00
Travel for Councilors$2,558.45$3,000.00
Speaker Expenses$3,418.56$2,500.00
Speaker Gifts$51.00$50.00
Meals/Soc. Hour$12,994.03$12,000.00
Short Courses$13,280.07$0.00
Publication and Printing
Printing (except elections)$6,267.44$6,000.00
Mail labels$230.90$300.00
Election materials$846.84$800.00
Special Projects
National Chemistry Week$2,071.42$2,500.00
Educational Grants$0.00$0.00
Oesper Award$1,000.00$1,000.00
Oesper Plaque$250.72$250.00
High School Awards$108.70$1,500.00
Examination Costs/Awards$2,272.53$1,000.00
Awards Plaques$246.30$300.00
Service Award$39.60$50.00
ECS Advertisement$35.00$50.00
Total Expenses$53,151.01$40,600.00


Dr. Sally Vonderbrink
Chemistry Teacher par Excellence

We have many excellent high school chemistry teachers in our Section. In this article, Dr. Sally Vonderbrink, who teaches at St. Xavier High School, is singled out for her exceptional record of achievement and accomplishment over a 27 year teaching career.

After obtaining a BA degree in Chemistry from Mt. St. Joseph, she joined Procter & Gamble in Technical Information Services for 6 years. Then she went to the University of Cincinnati for a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry under Bill Gilbert. She then taught at Mt. St. Joseph for 5 years before taking her present position at St. X.

Section members will recall we have highly competitive awards for 1- and 2-year chemistry students. Dr. Vonderbrink has had students competing for both awards for 27 years and in each of those years, at least one of her students has won an award. In one year, 5 of her students won, for a clean sweep. She quips "its one free meal I can count on each year, " a reference to the Sections practice of providing a meal to each winners teacher.

Her teaching includes a 45 minute lecture to 4 classes 4 times per week and one 90-minute lab session. With 30 students in each session, that's 120 students each week. Multiply that by 27 years and over 3000 students have taken chemistry under her tutelage. She estimates that 40-50% of these are now in science-related careers; many have obtained the Ph.D. degree in a science field.

In her spare time, Dr. Vonderbrink has written a lab manual Laboratory Experiments for Advanced Placement Chemistry that is used across the country and widely acclaimed as the best book of its kind. Until 2 years ago, she also taught night school at UC for 26 years. And in the Miami University summer workshop program, she lectures to grade and HS teachers about teaching science and chemistry.

Dr. Vonderbrink has received our Sections Teacher of the Year Award (1982) and the corresponding Regional award in 1984. But in talking to her I sense she values the accomplishments of her students more than her personal awards. When teams of students, including hers, competed for the Ohio Test of Scholastic Achievement and came out 1st on 8 different occasions, that's her prized award.

What is the secret of her success with students, and can it be duplicated by other teachers? Dr. Vonderbrink admits it helps to start with top-notch students hungry to learn who know they are college bound. She works them hard. She teaches them problem-solving skills, not just for the immediate problem at hand, but problem-solving applicable to life's problems. She tries to instill in them the ability to think about what they're doing and she relates everything she teaches to events and experiences in their everyday lives. This puts lasting meaning into whatever they're learning. And it helps to have all that Ph.D. training. Many HS chemistry teachers have too little chemistry training, leading to a fear of science and science teaching that is not conducive to enthusing students about chemistry.

I asked her how we can get more talented students to enter chemistry-related careers. She feels we must start at grades 5-6 to demonstrate the fun and excitement of hands-on experiments. And we need to continue this into high school so we don't lose their original enthusiasm through neglect. I agree with this, but add that coupling this with more Sally Vonderbrink's is the real key to a constant flow of top young people into chemistry. When I interviewed job applicants in my recruiting career, I always asked what caused them to choose chemistry. Almost always the reply was a wonderful high school chemistry teacher. Dr. Vonderbrink has filled that role for thousands of students.

Ted J. Logan
Cincinnati Section


The Cincinnati Section of
The American Chemical Society



The Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society has funds available for the purpose of improving chemical education in the geographic area served by the local section (OH: Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren counties; KY: Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties; IN: Dearborn and Ohio counties). The Educational Grants Committee was established to make recommendations to the Cincinnati Section Board of Directors for the disbursement of these funds.

The committee hereby invites applications for these grants from all members (teachers, students, industrial chemists, etc.) of the chemical community in the service area of the section. Applications will be accepted and reviewed three times during the year according to the following schedule.

Review MonthApplication DeadlineNotification Date
FebruaryFebruary 1, 1998March 15, 1998
MayMay 1, 1998May 30, 1998
NovemberNovember 1, 1998December 15, 1998

Grants will be awarded for such activities as attending educational workshops, participation in summer research programs, innovative education programs, instructional equipment, etc. Proposals which incorporate the use of funds from other agencies or corporations, including the agency or corporation with which the applicant is affiliated, will be given preference in the selection process. Funds will generally not be awarded for the purchase of common supplies or chemicals. However, any application which meets the basic criteria for which the fund was created will be given serious consideration. Grants will be, in most cases, limited to $1,500; exceptional proposals will be considered for larger amounts. No school or organization will be allowed to receive more than one (1) award per calendar year. Within one year from the time the grant is awarded, a report describing the used of the funds and the impact that the project had is expected to have on improving chemical education is to be forwarded to the committee chairperson.

An application form is available on-line as an html file or as a PDF file.

For further information or more applications, please contact:

Ginger Tannenbaum
Fairfield High School
8800 Holden Blvd.
Fairfield, OH 45014

(513) 942-2999 {work}
(513) 829-3698 {home}



Thinking about a change?
Aware of the need to be current on career opportunities?
Seeking chemists?

Find out what the ACS can do for you!

Call Jan Strobel at (513) 489-7184


1997 ACS Short Course Survey, Cincinnati Section

Return the survey form by November 15, 1997 to be eligible for the
Prize Drawing to be held at the December meeting!

As your local section, we want to provide courses that you will find useful and interesting. The only way for this to happen is for us to hear from you about what you want. Please take a minute to fill out the survey. We will use the results to plan future short course offerings.

The survey form may be found in either the CINTCS, an html version, or a PDF version.


Dr. William R. Oliver
Department of Chemistry
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY 41099-1905


Nominations Solicited

Cincinnati Chemist of the Year

The Section Awards Committee requests nominations for the 1998 Cincinnati Chemist of the Year. This award, given annually since 1950, recognizes professional accomplishments of a member. The 1998 Chemist of the Year will be the featured speaker at the February 18 meeting.

Deadline for nominations is December 5, 1997.

Cincinnati Research Assistant of the Year

The Section Awards Committee requests nominations for the 1998 Cincinnati Research Assistant/Chemical Technician of the Year. This award, given annually, recognizes job skills, safety, teamwork, leadership, publications and presentations, reliability, communications skills, and additional professional and community activities. A Chemical Technician/Research Assistant is defined as a person whose training includes successful completion of a two year post-high school chemistry curriculum or equivalent work in a Baccalaureate program, or equivalent knowledge gained by experience.

The 1998 award will be presented at the February 18 meeting. The winner will be the section's candidate for the National award.

Deadline for nominations is December 5, 1997.

High School Chemisry Teacher of the Year

The Section Awards Committee requests nominations for the 1998 High School Chemistry Teacher of the year. This award, given annually, recognizes accomplishments of those of us who teach chemistry at the secondard school level. It recognizes teaching ability, enthusiasm, mentoring skills, and other leadership activities. The 1998 award will be presented at the April 29 meeting.

Deadline for nominations is February 18, 1997.

Nomination forms for each award may be requested from, and returned to:

Henry R. Greeb
Awards Committee Chair
c/o Hg Consulting, Inc.
6580 Dry Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45252-1750


To return to the local section page.

HTML version prepared on October 15, 1997 by Jeffrey.Nauss@UC.Edu.