Central PA Local Section

Awards and Grants Provided by the Local Section

The Joseph A. Dixon Travel Award

On February 9, 2000, the steering committee of the Central Pennsylvania Section of the ACS voted to offer up to $1500 to each of the student affiliate chapters at Juniata College, Lock Haven University, Penn State Altoona, and Penn State University Park to support travel to professional meetings and conferences.  In addition, up to $750 will be provided for a mentor if traveling with the student. Nominations for awards are made by the student affiliate officers and advisor. 

Student affiliate groups are asked to attach a short proposal stating why the students listed are well qualified for travel support in terms of academics and service to the chemical profession.  Copies of abstracts submitted for presentation at the meeting should also be attached to the application form. Presentations should acknowledge the support of the Central Pennsylvania local section of the ACS.


Award requests must be submitted to the student affiliate chapter before the travel takes place, and appropriate receipts must be submitted within 60 days after the travel takes place. 

In 2003, the steering committee voted to call these awards the Joseph A. Dixon Travel Award in honor of Dixon’s many years of dedicated service to the American Chemical Society.

Travel Award Application Form


Quadrennial Frank C. Whitmore Lecture on Chemistry Education and Public Policy

The 2016 Whitmore Lecturer was Dr. Richard Alley, of Penn State University. His talk was entitled, "Climate and Energy: Big Challenges and Bigger Opportunities."  He spoke in Thomas Building at the University Park campus on April 19, 2016.

The 2012 Whitmore Lecturer was Dr. Bassam Shakashiri, president of the American Chemical Society for 2012.  He presented the Whitmore Lecture during the 2012 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, held July 29- August 1 at Penn State University, University Park, PA.  

This lecture is sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Section of the ACS and honors Frank C. Whitmore, Dean of the Penn State College of Chemistry and Physics from 1929 until his untimely death in 1947. A member of the National Academy of Science, and recipient of the Nichols and Gibbs Medals, Whitmore is best known for introducing the “carbocation" as a reaction intermediate. This lecture honors his service to the ACS which began in the Central PA Section and the ACS Organic Division and culminated as 1938 ACS President. For a decade he was the de facto public spokesman for chemistry and was one of the three chemists who coordinated the organic chemistry war effort in the U.S. When this “true casualty of war” died, the ACS passed a resolution calling his contribution to science “immeasurable” and he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Certificate of Merit. Not long after, Whitmore Laboratory at Penn State was built and dedicated to his memory. To read more about Frank Whitmore, please click here.


Previous Whitmore Lecturers