Western Carolinas Local Section

December 2015 Meeting - Thursday Dec 3 at Milliken & Company






“New Nucleating Agent Additives for Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE)” 

Dr. Darin Dotson

Milliken & Company


 at the Milliken Innovation Gallery, Roger Milliken Campus, Spartanburg, SC

Docent led tours of the Innovation Gallery are generally only available to current or prospective Milliken customers.  This is a special opportunity for WCACS members and guests.  


Order of Events:

5:30 pm – Docent led tours of the Milliken Innovation Gallery

6:30 pm Dinner (Innovation Gallery, Roger Milliken Campus, Spartanburg, SC)

            $19 Members/$5 K-12/$5 Students

7:30 pm Lecture (Innovation Gallery, Roger Milliken Campus, Spartanburg, SC)

Dr. Darin Dotson, Milliken & Company

About our speaker

Darin L. Dotson was born in Texas City, Texas and attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, obtaining B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry in 1989 and 1992, respectively.  While at Marshall, he worked as a laboratory technician at Union Carbide Corporation in South Charleston, WV for four years.  After taking a leave of absence from Carbide in 1992, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1996, at which time he began working for Milliken and Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  His primary area of focus is the development of new nucleating agent additives for polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).  He currently holds over 40 U.S. and international patents.

November 2015 Meeting - Tuesday November 17 at Wofford College



“An Apple a Day, or Garlic, or Chocolate? DNA Damage Prevention by Sulfur and Selenium Antioxidants”


Dr. Julia Brumaghim

Clemson University

2014 Women Chemists Rising Star Award Winner



For directions and a campus map see http://www.wofford.edu/map.   Visitor parking is available in the Admissions Lot off of Campus Drive and behind the Roger Milliken Science Building. The Montgomery room is downstairs in the Burwell building.


Order of Events (all in the Montgomery Room):

5:30 pm – Executive Committee Meeting

6:00 pm – Meet and Greet

6:30 pm Dinner (Optional, buffet-style, $18 Members/$5 K-12/$5 Student)

7:30 pm Lecture (Montgomery Room of the Burwell Building)


Metal-mediated oxidative DNA damage is the primary cause of cell death under conditions of oxidative stress and is an underlying cause of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and aging.  Despite the importance of metals in DNA damage, studies of sulfur and selenium antioxidants have focused primarily on scavenging reactive oxygen species, not metal binding.  In contrast, we have been examining the ability of biological sulfur and selenium compounds to inhibit DNA damage by directly coordinating the iron and copper ions responsible for radical generation.  Sulfur and selenium antioxidants coordinate these metals to prevent DNA damage at biologically-relevant, low micromolar concentrations.  Both the specific metal ion and the specific sulfur and selenium compounds significantly alter antioxidant activity.  Establishing this metal-binding mechanism for sulfur and selenium antioxidant behavior represents a major shift in understanding antioxidant activity with substantial implications for the biological role of selenium as well as development of antioxidant supplements and therapies.

About our speaker

Dr. Brumaghim earned her A.B. degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1994. Her Ph.D. work with Prof. Greg Girolami at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign involved the synthesis of air-sensitive osmium complexes.  After graduation in 1999, she was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Ken Raymond at the University of California, Berkeley (1999-2001), studying chiral bioinorganic and supramolecular coordination chemistry.  She then joined Prof. Stuart Linn's lab in the molecular and cellular biology department at Berkeley to conduct postdoctoral research in the biochemistry of DNA damage and iron interactions with NAD(P)H (2001-2003) before joining the faculty at Clemson University in 2003.

October 2015 Meeting - Thursday October 22 at Lander University

Our October Meeting, celebrating National Chemistry Week will take place at Lander University on October 22, and will feature presentations by student members from Erskine College, Newberry College and Lander University.

Ideas and Examples for Chemistry Outreach Activities

David Gardner

Lander University

 Location:  Dinner will be in the Grier Student Center on the campus of Lander University (building GC) followed by the presentation at the Science Scenter (SC) on this campus map.

Order of Events:

6:00 pm – Meet and Greet (Grier Student Center)

6:30 pm - Dinner (Optional) (Grier Student Center)   $16 Members/$5 K-12/$5 Students


  • Spring Mixed Salad with Ranch and Vinaigrette Dressings
  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast
  • Penne Alfredo with Sundried Tomato and Spinach
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Warm Baguettes with Butter
  • Iced Tea and Water
  • Milk Chocolate Mousse with Espresso Caviar Pearls

Dinner will include an ACS Student Member demonstration involving the espresso caviar pearls in our dessert!

7:30 pm Lecture (Science Building)


Among the guiding principles listed by the ACS are: advocating for chemistry, educating the public, and supporting future chemists. This presentation will focus on the challenges and opportunities available to us on a local-level that support and further these goals. Part of this includes making connections to organizations outside our own. The other part includes involving ACS student chapters as a platform for growth and development of the ACS student members while at the same time being beneficial to the broader community. By sharing some of the current efforts at Lander University, we hope to spark discussion and generate ideas on how to share our passion for chemistry to others.

About our speaker

Dr. Gardner received his B.S. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University and his M.S. in physical chemistry and Ph.D. in chemical education from Purdue University.  Dr. Gardner is a professor at Lander University and his current primary teaching responsibilities include general chemistry, physical chemistry, and a capstone course for graduating seniors.  His main research focus is in chemical education with particular emphases in the teaching and learning of physical chemistry. In addition, Dr. Gardner recently published a paper [2014] that investigated the origins of the Diet Coke and Mentos demonstration and involved the MythBusters as co-authors.

September 2015 Meeting and 50-year member recognition - September 10 at Bay Breeze Restaurant, Hendersonville NC

Our September meeting will take place at Bay Breeze Seafood Restaurant,  and as well as the speaker there will be a program to congratulate our 50- and 60- year members. This is a great time to meet new Section members or to renew old acquaintances. We will hear short anecdotes from our honorees as well and a special presentation by Dr. Seth Rasmussen from North Dakota State University. Dr. Rasmussen received his PhD from Clemson University and is an expert in the use of conjugated polymers in photovoltaic applications. His talk in September, however, will focus on his other passion, the history of chemistry.

Evening schedule:

6:00pm:  Meet and greet

6:30pm: Dinner

7:30pm:  Recognition of members and presentation



How Glass Changed the World 

Seth C. Rasmussen

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

North Dakota State University

Glass production is thought to date to ~3000-2500 BC and had found numerous uses by the height of the Roman Empire.  The modern view of glass-based chemical apparatus, however, was quite limited due to a lack of glass durability under rapid temperature changes and chemical attack.  In the mid 1200's, this began to change as the glassmakers of Venice and Murano began blending Roman methods with raw materials from the Levant, as well as developing pretreatment and purification methods of the raw materials.  This combination resulted in a new glass with a strength and durability for use in chemical apparatus, leading to rapid advancements in chemical practice.  An overview of the history and chemistry of glass technology will be presented, from its origins in antiquity to its dramatic expansion in the 13th century, concluding with its impact on society in general, particularly its effect on chemical practices.

 About our speaker

Dr. Rasmussen received his B.S. from Washington State University and his Ph.D. from Clemson University.  He completed a post-doctoral degree at the University of Oregon and is currently a professor of chemistry at North Dakota State University.  His research is in the fields of inorganic/organic materials chemistry, chemical history, and materials research.  His material chemistry research combines synthetic inorganic and organic chemistry with a focus on novel conjugated organic materials and their application to organic photovoltaics (OPVs or solar cells), photonic light detectors, and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs).  Dr. Rasmussen’s main historical focus is the incorporation of chemical history into the chemical curriculum. During the last few decades, there has been a growing awareness regarding the important role played by the teaching of the History of Science in undergraduate and graduate science courses. Specific historical projects include research on the history of the NDSU department of chemistry and biochemistry, glass technology of the 1200s and its impact on chemical progress, the early history of conjugated materials, and the biography of Edwin Ladd.


April 2015 Meeting and Awards Night - April 16 at Furman University




Furman University

Our April meeting is a special one for several reasons. It is our last meeting of the academic year, it is traditionally our largest meeting of the year, and we gather to celebrate the achievements of students studying chemistry at the High Schools, Colleges, and Universities in the Western Carolinas Section. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, April 16 for an evening of science and camaraderie at Furman University!

The meeting will be in the Atrium of Townes Science Center, Furman University. A campus map is attached or can be found at http://www.furman.edu/campusmap/   GPS Users: The address is 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC, 29613. Please note that weather permitting, we will eat outside, so a light jacket or sweater is advised.

Evening Schedule:

5:00 pm: Poster Set-up (Kohrt Commons, Plyler Hall, #93 on the interactive campus map)

5:30 PM Mix and Mingle & Poster Session (Student presenters should attend to their posters)

7:00 PM     Dinner 

Make Your Own Fajita Party

  • The Garden Salad
  • Chipotle Lime Vegetable Salad with sweet potatoes, red and green peppers, broccoli and red onion in a cumin vinaigrette, finished with fresh cilantro and crispy chips
  • Guajilli Spiced Fresh Tortilla Chip-served with Salsa and Toppings Bar
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Red Chile Mexican Rice
  • Charro Beans - slow cooked the old fashioned way with green chiles, onion, garlic and smoked ham
  • Dolce de Leche Cheese Bar         

Cost of dinner: $17.00, $5.00 for students

7:45 PM     Awards Presentation

March 2015 Meeting - March 31 at Warren Wilson College



 Sputnik to Smartphones: A Half Century of Chemistry Education


Dwaine Eubanks, Professor Emeritus, Clemson University

Winner of the 2015 George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education


Upper (Ransom) Fellowship Hall at Warren Wilson College.  For directions to Warren Wilson College see http://www.warren-wilson.edu/admission/visit/directions and for a campus map see http://www.warren-wilson.edu/admission/visit/campus-map.

Times and locations:

6:00 pm:  Meet and greet

6:30 pm:  Dinner

  • Mixed greens salad
  • Grilled chicken Marsala
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Fresh green beans
  • Rolls with butter
  • Dessert and beverages             

Dinner costs:

Adults -- $18 for dinner including dessert and beverage

Students and K-12 teachers -- $5 for dinner including dessert and beverage

A vegetarian option will be available by request, please put dietary restrictions in your RSVP

7:30 pm  presentation


During the last few decades of the 20th century, chemical education underwent a paradigm shift the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Lavoisier and Liebig. The drastically changed needs of students, coupled with the demands of the chemical profession and of the state, chemical educators realized that they could no longer teach as they had been taught. Whole new ideas, concepts, technological tools, communications possibilities, communities of change, etc. opened up the challenge of putting chemical education research into practice at every level. Concomitant advances in parallel disciplines, such as the cognitive sciences, have served to enrich and enhance understanding of how students learn and how we can find out how and what they learn.

About our speaker:

Dr. Eubanks earned both his B.S. (1960) and Ph.D. (1963) from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a research chemist for du Pont (1963-67) and subsequently a faculty member at Oklahoma State University (1967-92), where he reached the rank of professor in 1978. He was a professor at Clemson University from 1992 until he retired from this position.  He directed the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education's Examinations Institute from 1988 until 1992. He has served the American Chemical Society in various capacities, including Chair of the ACS Division of Chemical Education, fifteen years as a member of the Council (the ACS governance body), six years as a member of the Council Policy Committee, and Chair of the Western Carolinas ACS Section for 2004. Dr. Eubanks is a co-recipient of a national award for distinguished service to the ACS Division of Chemical Education.

January 2015 Meeting - January 22nd in Flat Rock, NC




"The Chemistry and Alchemy of Brewing"

Dr. Robert Bates

Professor Emeritus

University of Florida



Mountain Lodge Convention Center

42 McMurray Rd., Flat Rock, NC

 Click here for map and driving directions to Mountain Lodge Convention Center

Order of Events:

5:30 pm – Blue Ridge Community College -- Introduction to the Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation Program with Mr. Gabe Mixon, Program Director;

For directions to BRCC see: http://www.blueridge.edu/directions-map-hcc and http://www.blueridge.edu/hccmap

6:30 pm Dinner (Optional) Mountain Lodge Convention Center

            $19 Members/$8 High School Teachers and Student Members

  • Pulled pork BBQ
  • Vegetarian lasagna
  • Herb roasted potatoes
  • Coleslaw
  • Vegetable medley
  • Corn bread
  • Bread pudding with bourbon cream sauce & banana pudding
  • Coffee, tea, water & selected locally brewed beers ($2.50/beer; must be 21 and over with legal/valid ID to purchase beer)


7:30 pm Lecture Mountain Lodge Convention Center


Beer making, one of the oldest examples of biotechnology, is a fascinating study of chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering. It combines well recognized and controllable reactions and operations with complex, poorly understood phenomena, including the psychosensory response.  Surprisingly, some of the most sophisticated science and technology are employed in the efficient production of mass advertised, mediocre beers. In contrast, traditional “alchemy-driven” methods can produce exceptional yet under-recognized beers. Fortunately, there is an achievable balance between these extremes. This presentation will cover the brewing process from raw material selection and preparation through fermentation to consumption. Emphasis will be on major pathways employed by brewers to produce a wide range of beers. These are exciting times for brewers and beer connoisseurs in the U.S. Future industry developments of relevance to consumers will be mentioned. With dedication and practice, the average chemist can brew above-average beers; so can the experienced kitchen alchemist.


Dr. Bates received his B.S. degree in food technology from MIT. After several years in the food industry, he obtained an M.S. degree in food science from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. in food science from MIT. After a year at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama in Guatemala, he joined the University of Florida. He is presently a professor emeritus of food technology in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. Bates’ areas of interest are food processing and utilization, small-scale process and equipment development, fermentation technology and byproduct recovery, food product development, and international technical assistance. His major responsibilities involve teaching graduate and undergraduate food science processing and product development courses; and conducting research/extension activities in home, community, and small-scale industrial food processing operations. He has completed short and long-term international assignments in many countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Asia. He fields frequent inquiries on food science and technology and related subjects from national, international, and industrial sources