WBU Student Chapter of American Chemical Society receives Commendable Award

PLAINVIEW — The Wayland Baptist University Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society has received another Commendable Award.

This is the second year in a row that the Wayland student group has received an ACS chapter award and matches the highest level of recognition the chapter has received. Student ACS chapters from across the globe submit annual chapter reports in May which are then judged by a panel of chemists and chapter advisers.

“This year we were one of eight universities and colleges from across Texas to receive Commendable, and only six schools from Texas received the highest level of recognition,” said Dr. Robert Moore, Professor of Chemistry. “Schools that we outperformed that received the third level of recognition include: Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UT Austin, Tarleton, and several others from Texas. This doesn’t even consider all the chapters that submit a report and do not get recognized.”

Moore credited Chapter President Elizabeth Wirth and Chapter Vice President Chelsea Kelley, both seniors, with playing significant roles in achieving the Commendable Award. The only other year in which the chapter received Commendable was the year prior to COVID. This left Wirth and Kelley as new students with a student chapter that needed to be rebuilt almost from scratch. In both years under their leadership, the chapter has won a chapter award, and have already regained the highest achievement the chapter had attained previously.

“They deserve an incredible level of recognition,” Moore said. “Wayland is much stronger because of these two students. Congratulations for their efforts.”

Some of the activities that Wirth and Kelley spearheaded include getting nearly two dozen students involved with chemistry demonstrations at Plainview Junior High, organizing information and group tutoring sessions for freshman chemistry students, assisting with planning and leading trips to regional and national meetings, and leading a massive Seth Ward cleanup project that gained media attention.

“They also visited high schools with me to talk about research at Wayland, and they participated in the Welch summer research program,” Moore said.

 Wirth and Kelley are scheduled to travel to Houston next week for the annual Welch Research Conference. Their research is being presented there and at the upcoming regional ACS meeting in Oklahoma City next month.

“There is so much that could be said of these students,” Moore said. “All of this has been accomplished while maintaining high academic standing. These two students should be celebrated for their exemplary and inspirational work.”

A complete list of ACS award recipients is available at: https://www.acs.org/funding/awards/student-chapter-award/past-recipients.html.