SOCMA: Golf drive hits the mark

27 September 2012 10:52  [Source: ICB]

SOCMA's ninth Annual Chemical Industry Golf Tournament, held in conjunction with the Leadership Conference, provides a great opportunity for attendees - as well as other SOCMA members and non-members alike - to have fun while ensuring the bright future of young chemistry students.

SOCMA golf tournament

Nearly 100 played last year at the Chester Valley Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania

SOCMA hosts the annual one-day scramble golf tournament to raise money for the American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program, which supports highly motivated undergraduates with financial need from groups historically under-represented in chemistry. Since the first tournament in 2004, SOCMA has donated $30,000 (€24,000) and helped seven students pursue their dream of earning a degree in science.

In 2004, SOCMA members came to then-president Joe Acker, asking that the association identify an opportunity that would enable members to give back to the chemical community. A perfect match was made with ACS and the Scholars Program.

From 2004-2009, the tournament raised $3,000 each year. In the past two years, however, that number has risen dramatically, with $5,000 donated in 2010 and $7,000 in 2011.

The success is due to the hard work of SOCMA's tournament committee members and a high level of participation, both in terms of numbers of players (around 100), as well as the strong sponsorship of the event. Companies sponsor the holes and fun activities associated with the tournament, including the lunch buffet, networking reception, award dinner and various prizes.

Winners in 2011 included Greg Buliga, Michael Wilson, Mike Smith and Ross White from FMC, who took first place; Eric Devine and Thomas Orabona of Chartis and Holland Jordan of SOCMA, who came in second; and Ted Tomasi (Cardno ENTRIX), Craig Stafford (SiVance) and Mark Clark and Sean O'Donnell (Datacor), who claimed third place. Kurt Soring of Sartomer Company hit the longest drive, and Bret Horace of Brenntag received the award for coming closest to the pin.

"We are excited about the fact that the tournament has reached its ninth year, and that our donations to the ACS Scholars Program are growing," notes Christine Sanchez, ­SOCMA's senior manager, PR & Media. "The success of this event is a real testament to SOCMA members and their commitment to supporting young people who are interested in joining the chemical industry. And as an added bonus, we have developed a terrific working relationship with the ACS that has been very beneficial to both organisations."

Initially, scholars sponsored with money donated by SOCMA were from Howard University (Washington, DC) so they could meet staff and members at SOCMA's headquarters. Those students included John Rogers, who went on to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania; Sadiq Odubayo, who entered an MS programme at Stanford; and Phylicia Trottman, who is now working for Abbott Laboratories.

Recent winners have been selected from New York universities, so they can more readily attend SOCMA's Annual Dinner in New York City for the presentation of the cheque to ACS. Adebola Adeniran and Kristen Allison graduated from Columbia and are in a PhD programme at Northwestern University and working at BASF, respectively. Kristen's job at BASF was, in fact, a direct product of her attendance at the Annual Dinner, where she was introduced to many different people by ACS executive director Madeleine Jacobs.

"A highlight of my year at SOCMA's Annual Dinner is experiencing the warm reception members give the ACS Scholar who is the recipient of their scholarship support," Jacobs comments. "SOCMA members clearly demonstrate that they share my passion for developing the next generation of chemical science professionals, and networking with them is an invaluable experience for the student. ACS is very grateful to SOCMA for its continuing support of this important programme."

Scholars currently sponsored with SOCMA donations include Evan Flores, a senior at Hofstra University, and Matthew Ferguson, a freshman at Cornell. Funds raised this year will be presented to the ACS Scholars Program at SOCMA's 91st Annual Dinner on 10 December in New York .

Author: Cynthia Challener

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