San Gorgonio Section

May 2019 Chair's Message

Our San Gorgonio Section May meeting has for many years been our High School Chemistry Olympiad Test Participants’ Recognition Night where we give some $3000 in Scholarships to the best performers on the test. This year our event will be on Friday, May 17 at at Cal Baptist University. Please see our meeting notice for details.  Congratulations to our scholarship winners and National Exam qualifiers:

 Congratulations to our scholarship winners and National Exam qualifiers:

  Yu Liu Chaparral High School

Hamlin Wu  Diamond Bar High School

  Jay Siri  Diamond Bar High School

Douglas Li  Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Richard Phan Etiwanda High School

  Gavin Zhang Martin Luther King High School

Gary Song Martin Luther King High School

Shin Choi Rancho Cucamonga High School

  Michael Lee Riverside STEM Academy

Sami Siddiqui Santiago High School

Lucien Tsa Walnut High School

Evan Huang Walnut High School

  And congratulations to the outstanding educator:

              Garret Lim                     Walnut High School

 Besides thanking and recognizing our HS students and their teachers, I want to especially thank Dr. Dennis Pederson, Eileen Di Mauro, and Dr. David Srulevitch for making our Olympiad testing happen and our May meetings so special for so many years.  Dennis (retired CSUSB) is our Treasurer, Board member, and past Chair. He has helped administer, deliver, grade the tests and after the first round he has coordinated the laboratory portion of the test which determines which SGS HS students are eligible for the National Chemistry Olympiad. He is also our main contact person for our scholarship winners to collect their scholarship money once they have enrolled at a University. Eileen (retired Mt. SAC Professor) is our current SGS Councilor, along with myself, and is a Board member and fill-in wherever needed (Chair, Chair-elect, etc.). She has provided key help with our CHM Olympiad effort for the past decade. Also, David, Mt. Sac Professor and CPP alumnus, has been our supreme SGS secretary and provided a lot of help with our Olympiad for several years.


Eileen and I attended the Orlando ACS Meeting as our SGS Councilors. The Council Meeting and other governance activities led to following key results: 15,605 attendees, ACS membership grew slightly (0.1%) for the first time in almost a decade; ACS finances are very sound; 2020 dues will remain at $175; H.N. Cheng and Carol A. Duane were selected as candidates for 2020 President-Elect; ACS is a leader among scientific societies in developing/strengthening policies regarding sexual harassment and professional conduct at ACS meetings; and a healthy discussion on “ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities”.


Looking ahead for the rest of 2019, we are planning to have a picnic-type Event in our Section’s namesake – San Gorgonio Wilderness, during July/August with a chemistry theme/speaker. We will also be planning three more events involving the 70th Anniversary of our SGS including National Chemistry Week, recognition of our 50, 60, and 70-year members and continued mentoring/networking for chemists of all ages, and section officers’ elections.


I want to thank Dr. “Shekar” Sonwane for his work as our SGS Coordinator for Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) and other volunteer activities, Dr. Ralph Riggin, our Chair-Elect, who has been working on activities that can attract more chemists from industry, government agencies, and small chemical companies to SGS, and Emily Viggers who is leading our efforts to  attract more younger chemists to our SGS. As SGS Chair, I realize that the SGS Board is a “team effort” and I thank all of our Board over the past decade and thank all of our members & non-members who have attended our events.


Finally, a friendly suggestion that we keep encouraging our younger folks

to please consider:


1.      Becoming middle-school/HS Chemistry teachers

 2.      Going into sports-officiating, as I did, starting at age 18 for almost 60 yrs, as a a way to give back to their favorite sport and making some friends and money to help reduce their college debt/expenses.

 Please email me with any comments/feedback:

Upcoming Events

April 27 – National Chemistry Olympiad at U.C. Riverside

The top ten scorers from the 350+ students who took the local exam have been nominated to take the National Olympiad exam. 

May 17 –    Save the Date!  High School Student and Teacher Recognition Banquet at California Baptist University

 The National Chemistry Olympiad qualifiers, scholarship winners, high scorers from each school and teachers will be honored.


Link to SCALACS (our newsletter)

San Gorgonio Section Chair - Dr. Ernie Simpson