Chemistry and Biochemistry

Y-Chem Receives ACS Award, Fourth Year Running

Posted: Mar 31, 2015

For its fourth consecutive year, the Y-Chem Society has received a Commendable Chapter award from the American Chemical Society. To win the award, Y-Chem submitted a report of their yearly activities, their active member count, and their impact on the community.

Y-Chem stays very busy throughout the year, hosting magic shows at elementary schools, selling liquid nitrogen ice cream during National Chemistry week, and hosting Open Lab Day—a day when elementary and junior high students come to BYU to conduct experiments in the labs.  Y-Chem also holds a popular “Nerd Dance” every fall and judges science fairs in the spring. This year, they introduced hot cocoa sales in special Y-Chem mugs bearing phrases such as “Think like a proton and stay positive.”

Y-Chem’s president, Tamara Cassinat, joined the club when she saw how much potential it had to benefit the department and the community.  Though planning activities takes up much of her free time, she believes it is time well spent.  “Basically,” she said, “Y-Chem has given me a way of sharing what I love with students and the general public.  Which is awesome.” 

Y-Chem also helps chemistry students prepare for graduate school, professional school, or jobs in industry. Several members even presented their research at this year’s ACS conference in Denver. “The networking experiences are unbelievable,” said student Ryjul Stokes about his experience at the conference. “I felt like a seventh-grade girl at a Justin Bieber concert who was just allowed backstage as I approached decorated chemists such as Dr. Phil Baran of the Scripps Research Institute and Nobel laureate Dr. Robert Grubbs of the California Institute of Technology.” For Stokes, the chance to present at the ACS conference was only made possible by Y-Chem, which helped fund his travel expenses. “Y-Chem is a phenomenal organization,” he said. “I would not have been able to attend without its help. I strongly recommend that anyone interested in Y-Chem, whether they are a chemistry major or not, get involved.”