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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE group to aid future chemists

By Gerrit Goodwin/ ne news editor

ACS vice president Victoria Rivas works with another student on a chemistry experiment.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
ACS vice president Victoria Rivas works with another student on a chemistry experiment.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

NE Campus recently acquired its own chapter of the American Chemical Society. 

The ACS, a professional organization based in the U.S., supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry.

The NE chapter will open doors and provide new opportunities for students interested in joining, such as the ability to network with other ACS members nationally and offer chances for students to get involved in their communities, chemistry associate professor and chapter sponsor Kenneth Drake said.

“The chapter is not just padding on a resume. It’s geared for students interested in graduate or medical school,” he said. “Since it’s a national organization, as it grows on campus, it can provide a platform for students to easily transition from TCC to a four-year university with its own chapter.”

Drake said he was eager to sponsor the organization simply because it was the students who took the initiative to bring the chapter to TCC.

NE student and chapter president Kristopher Row said he wanted to start an ACS chapter to help students and inform them of opportunities they may not have known were available.

“I feel that at the community college level a lot of students are disconnected from four-year schools,” he said. “By starting an ACS student chapter, it lends a validity to an organization on TCC that allows us to reach out to four-year institutions and have speakers come to TCC and prepare students for when they leave to further their education.”

While the Chemistry Club operates more as a social organization, where students can come if they need help with chemistry or have a general interest in the science, the ACS is more for those who want to pursue chemistry in a more professional capacity, Row said.

The first ACS event on NE was held April 1 and featured a lecture series Row had been working on for several months called Road to Grad School.

“I was able to get two Ph.D. candidates from UTA to come to TCC and speak to students,” he said. “It wasn’t just an ACS thing. It was sponsored by the ACS, and we had it available to all students. That’s the kind of stuff I want ACS to do, to bring info to TCC students about the options they have.”

Row said that in the future he would like to see the ACS incorporated on all the other TCC campuses and for the chapter to become more involved in community outreach such as approaching high school students interested in pursuing STEM fields.

NE student Victoria Rivas, ACS vice president, said she is glad to be part of the organization and is excited to begin participating with other local chapters.

“It’s an organization for pre-professionals and definitely less socially oriented than other clubs,” she said. “It’s a great way to stand out on a resume, but it’s also something to be proud of.”

Rivas said other than community outreach, the ACS is looking for ways to get directly involved on campus, such as looking into updating NE chemistry facilities to be safer and more environmentally friendly.

Row said Drake, Rivas and he have put a lot of effort into bringing the chapter to TCC, but their main purpose will be to assist students.

“Research, teaching, industry — if we could reach out to just a handful of students each semester and open their eyes to the possibilities of the things they can do, that’s what I wanted,” he said. “I wanted to breed an interest in science.”

Membership in the chapter is open to all students and costs a fee of $27 annually. ACS members are eligible for scholarships and grants.

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