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Chemistry Professor Earns Recognition for Bringing Science into Community

group-posedcarol-shreinerChemistry is a subject that anyone can find a little “fun” in.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Carol Shreiner has worked hard to make that the case at Hiram College and the greater community since she arrived in 2007. And now, the American Chemical Society is recognizing her for her success.

The organization, which has chapters across the country, recently named Shreiner an official ACS Chemistry Ambassador.

As adviser to Hiram’s chapter of the American Chemical Society, Shreiner works with students year-round to put on educational events that demonstrate how chemistry applies to every day life. With her new recognition by ACS, she will receive additional resources to expand this outreach.

“Chemistry can be a way to reach out people,” Shreiner said. “At Hiram, we really value getting out into our community and helping people, and students can do that through chemistry. They can spread their knowledge outside the classroom.”

One of the events that Shreiner and the approximately 30 students in Hiram’s ACS chapter head up on campus each year is National Chemistry Week (held in conjunction with Mole Day, Oct. 23). Shreiner said she always tries to focus on topics non-chemistry students can relate to, and this year, the theme was chemistry in the environment. The events involved water quality, air quality and energy consumption. The group has also held campus events about the science of food, flavor and scent.

On Feb. 11, 2014, Shreiner and the Chemistry Club held a "Science of Scent and Fragrance" event on campus.

On Feb. 11, 2014, Shreiner and the Chemistry Club held a “Science of Scent and Fragrance” event on campus.

“Students in other majors usually think it’s really cool,” she said. “They enjoy it, and they’re not as afraid of chemistry or taking a chemistry course.”

Shreiner has also led the students in community outreach. They’ve judged regional high school and middle school science fair competitions at the University of Akron, and they were one of only a few college student groups to present at last year’s Chemistry Carnival in Pittsburgh.

Now that she is an official ACS Chemistry Ambassador, Shreiner will have more opportunities to connect her students to local science fairs and high schools through both networking and physical materials, such as free “Kids and Chemistry kits.” She plans to make full use of them.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to work with these students,” she said. “The recognition was a surprise.”

Hiram College’s ACS chapter has been recognized for its activities with Commendable Chapter Awards (2008, 2009 2011) and Honorable Mentions (2010 and 2012) every year since Shreiner has been adviser.

Learn more about chemistry at Hiram College.

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