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Westminster chemistry professors attend annual ACS conference: “Sustainability in a Changing World”

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Posted on Monday, September 19, 2022

Two Westminster College chemistry professors were recently invited to attend the American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting themed “Sustainability in a Changing World” on Aug. 21-25 in Chicago.

The annual ACS meetings are an opportunity for chemistry professionals to meet, share ideas and advance scientific and technical knowledge, while connecting with one of the world’s largest scientific societies.  

Dr. Helen Boylan, director of the Center for the Environment and professor of chemistry, was invited by session organizers to present in an educational session titled “Campus as a Living Laboratory for Sustainability” where she described how Westminster’s campus is used for environmental course projects and undergraduate research.

The presentation also included research done in collaboration with Sara Small ’22 on her interdisciplinary honors project about microplastics in honey, as well as research done with Jacob Patton ’23 on phosphorus in Brittain Lake.

Dr. Pete Smith, professor and chair of the chemistry department, was invited to the conference as a panelist for the discussion “Sustainability, environmental justice and ACS policy statements: The role of the ACS Committee on Environment Improvement” where he spoke about his experiences as part of the policy writing team.

Smith has served on the Environmental Improvement committee as secretary, while also serving as a writing team lead for four ACS policy statements: Critical Materials, Water Treatment & Conservation, Energy and Climate Change.

Boylan joined the Westminster faculty in 2001. A Westminster alumna, she earned her Ph.D. from Duquesne University. Smith, who has been with Westminster since 2002, earned his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.

For more information on the chemistry department, click here.