Chemistry student group awards scholarships, receives accolades

Release Date: November 11, 2009

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society awarded two scholarships to students who scored the highest in an online quiz about chemistry, in celebration of National Chemistry Week in late October.

Timothy Daniel Ballinger, a WBU sophomore from Lubbock, won a $250 scholarship for the spring 2010 semester for his efforts in the college division quiz. Denise Tarango of Plains High School in Plains, Texas, won the high school division quiz, also earning a $250 scholarship to Wayland for Fall 2010.

The quiz was designed by chemistry faculty members Dr. Gary Gray and Dr. Joel Boyd and programmed on the Web by Dr. Scott Franklin of the math department. The aim was to promote chemistry and the Wayland program, which produces many graduates who go on to professional schools for medical careers or graduate schools to pursue research careers.

“It is hoped that the National Chemistry Week on-line scholarship quiz will be an annual event that fosters interest in chemistry as a academic pursuit, and encourage current and prospective students to study chemistry at Wayland,” said Gray.

The SCACS was also recently honored with an Honorable Mention Award from the American Chemical Society for activities conducted during the 2008-09 school year. Of the 360 student chapters submitting reports, only 35 were chosen as outstanding.

In a letter to chapter sponsor Dr. Boyd and Wayland President Dr. Paul Armes, ACS president Thomas Lane commended the leadership of the group.

“Professor Joel Boyd, faculty advisor of the chapter, deserves special commendation. Few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires,” Lane wrote. “We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Boyd for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors.”

The SCACS at Wayland participates in mentoring activities, taking chemistry activities into the classrooms of various schools, and supports chemistry education on several levels. They donated the initial $500 seed money to begin the Joanne Bowers Chemical Education Scholarship at Wayland, honoring a longtime Plainview public school science teacher and designed to encourage students to pursue chemistry education as a career.