ACS Local Section



LEE W. HOFFMAN, Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry, Drexel University

Education:  BS University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, 1992; MS Michigan State University, 1996; PhD Flinders University, 2010; Postdoc, South Dakota State University, 2011-2014

Honors and Professional Societies:  recipient of Endeavor International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (EIPRS), Flinders University, 2006; Member, Royal Society of Chemistry 2013-present

ACS Membership:  1991; Philadelphia Section:  2014

National Participation:  Committee on Chemists With Disabilities, Associate member – 2003-2006, Member - 2011-present; Chair - Chemists With Disabilities subdivision to PROF, 2016-2018; symposium co-organizer and session chair - Building Opportunities in the Chemical Profession: Exploiting the Power of Diversity and Inclusion, Philadelphia, 2016; symposium organizer and chair - The Bond Between Science and Disability, Forging New Capabilities for Inclusion, New Orleans, 2018; symposium organizer and chair - Exploring the Nano - Leveraging Unique Abilities.

Local Section Participation:  member - education and Community Outreach Committee, 2016-2018; Alternate Councilor, 2017-2018; Director, 2017-2018; Chair-Project SEED, 2017-2018

Statement:  It has been a great honor to serve this section as a director and alternate-councilor position, and seek your vote to continue in these roles.  I have been involved with the ACS for more than 25 years starting with my undergraduate studies.  Since my BS, I have been involved in educating others at various capacities ranging from high school to university to industry.

Serving on the Chemists with Disabilities committee has increased my knowledge of persons with disabilities, the various types of disability, and (most importantly) that disability should be viewed as a unique ability.  Rather than disability closing doors, I believe (utilizing open mindedness) new doors can be opened. I will be utilizing the experience gained through working with this committee in expanding opportunities for all members of our local section.

While at SDSU, I also became involved in Project SEED. I brought that experience with me and I am now involved with the Philly section of Project SEED. ACS membership has been declining over recent years.  While the causes are complex and many, one impact we can have is exposure.  To that end, the greater Philadelphia area has a significantly large population in which Project SEED can serve.  The program brings exposure to higher education and possibilities in fields associated with chemistry.


CHRISTINE E. MCINNIS, New Technologies, Microbial Control, DowDuPont

Education:  BS, Chemistry and Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2006; PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2011

ACS Membership:  2006; Wisconsin Local Section Younger Chemists Committee, founder: 2009; Philadelphia Section:  2011

Local Section Participation: YCC Chair, 2012-present; Board of Directors, 2016-2018; Councilor, 2017-2019

National Participation:  National Younger Chemists Committee (YCC): 2010 [Local and Regional Affairs working group chairman, 2011-2018]; Career Consultant, 2016-present

Statement:  I am excited to run for the position of Councilor for the Philadelphia Local Section. I have come to learn that the Philadelphia Local Section of the ACS is steeped in a rich history and that we are blessed to have many experienced members of the section with us today. I have also had the privilege of working with several very talented younger chemists to develop the YCC leadership council. These younger chemists have planned some amazing events for our section including the yearly student poster session. We also have a well-organized set of monthly local section meetings that are attended by a small subset of the section, rarely including the younger chemist audience. Unfortunately, rather than having a unified section, it almost seems that we are a loosely associated section composed of the group that attends the monthly meetings, the YCC, the group that attends Career Services events, etc.

My goal for the section is to improve cohesiveness within the section. We have made some great progress in this area, but I feel that there is still a lot to be done. I look forward to working with many of the section’s committees including the communications committee and the social committee to continue on our journey of becoming a stronger local section that appeals to a wide variety of members. Let’s find a way to honor tradition while being dynamic enough to adjust as necessary.


ELLA L. DAVIS, Laboratory Director, STEMversity/Vice President CAPS-ATL, 2013-2017; Team Leader (Retired), Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, McNeil PPC – a Johnson & Johnson company (formerly Pfizer Inc.), Lititz, PA, July 2003 – November 2007; Research Chemist/Supervisor, The PQ Corporation R&D Center, 1976 – 2002

Education:  Master of Business Administration, Alvernia University, May 2010; BS Chemistry, Drexel University, 1980

ACS Membership:  1978; Philadelphia Section: 1978

National Participation: Council Policy Committee, 2019-2021, 2018, 2017; Committee on Membership Affairs, 2014-16 Secretary 2016, Committee Associate, 2013

Local Section Participation:  Councilor 2012-2020, Alternate Councilor 2011, Chair 2008, Director, 1993-2007, 2010-2018. Initiated the establishment of a local section committee on diversity.  Contribute to WCC and the PAGES program

Honors and Professional Societies: National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, National President, July 2001–June 2003; National Vice–President, 1999–2001; Executive Board Member-at-Large 2005-2010 term; National Meeting Planning Committee, Registration Chairperson, 1994–2001 & 2005 - 2009, Delaware Valley Chapter past President, Treasurer

Statement - Director:  It has been my pleasure to serve the Philadelphia Section in several capacities over the years including as Section Chair, Director and Councilor, and to work with my fellow board members to provide section programming that is responsive to our membership and serves the scientific as well general public communities. The local section is the primary avenue for the individual member to participate in and benefit from the opportunities and challenges of the premier scientific society that is the ACS. If re-elected to serve as Director, I will continue to work with the board to

  • Provide support and career growth opportunities for all of our membership but specifically those who are unemployed/downsized or juggling family and career issues. 
  • Educate the public on technological, specifically chemical issues.  This includes participating in legislative issues at all levels, national, state, and local. 
  • Encourage students, particularly the educationally disadvantaged and members of minority groups, to study science and engineering and support teachers at all levels.

To be successful, we need to continue to encourage increased participation of our membership and continue collaborative efforts with other scientific and professional organizations.  I thank you for your consideration, and, your vote.


Thomas P. Umile, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Villanova University

Education: BS, Biochemistry, The University of Scranton (2006); MA, Chemistry, The University of Scranton (2006); PhD, Chemistry, Princeton University (2012); Postdoc, Villanova University, (2012-2014)

ACS Membership: 2002-present (Divisions: Organic, Chemical Education, and Professional Relations); Philadelphia Local Section: 2012-present

ACS Local Section Participation: Younger Chemists Committee Planning Council (2013- present); Education & Outreach Committee (Philadelphia Science Carnival Volunteer/Organizer 2015, 2017-2018), Princeton ACS LS YCC Chair (2010-2012)

ACS National Participation: [At National Meetings]: Technical Session Presenter (Fall 2018, Fall 2016, Fall 2012), ORGN - Biologically-Related Molecules & Processes Session Presider (Fall 2016), Faculty and Postdoc Afternoon Networking Coffee Break Panelist (Fall 2016), YCC Fun Run Organizer (Fall 2016); [For ACS Green Chemistry Institute]: Green Chemistry Education Roadmapping Workshop invited participant (2016), Ciba Student Travel Award in Green Chemistry application reviewer (2015), Green Chemistry & Engineering Student Workshop Faculty Presenter (2015); [Other]: Starting and Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs Webinar Panelist (2015), ACS Leadership Institute attendee (2014)

Honors and Professional Societies: ORGN Division Travel Award (2018 Boston Meeting), ACS Leadership Development Award (2014), 2006 ACS Graduating Senior Award (Susquehanna Valley local section), Phi Lambda Upsilon (National Chemistry Honors Society), Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honors Society), Sigma Zeta (National Science & Mathematics Honor Society), American Association of University Professors, International Society of Chemical Ecology

Statement:  I am honored to be nominated for both a Councilor and a Director position, for the opportunity to serve and represent the Philadelphia Local Section, and to continue to give back to an organization that has given me so much in 16+ years. The American Chemical Society’s large and diverse membership make it unique amongst professional societies, as industrial scientists, academics, students, educators, and more share their collected experiences from all sub disciplines and career paths to strengthen the entire organization. Of course, a diverse membership brings challenges in equally meeting everyone’s needs. Primarily, I will seek out and be attentive to every member’s input and feedback for maintaining a section and society focused on everyone’s needs and interests. Moreover, I hope to foster programming and opportunities that bring the next generation of enthusiastic Philadelphia-area chemists into closer, regular contact with the professional and disciplinary expertise of our local section’s members. Increasing the involvement of students and early career chemists would nurture the region’s chemistry network, grow and sustain our active membership, and ultimately elevate the experience of all.


STEVEN A. FLEMING, Professor of Instruction, Department of Chemistry, Temple University

Education:  University of Utah, BS, 1978; University of Wisconsin, PhD, 1984; Colorado State University, Post-doctorate, 1984-1986

Honors and Professional Societies: Sigma Xi (1979-present); Inter-American Photochemical Society (1995-present); POCC (2008-2010); ACS Div.: Chemical Education; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1984-86; NSF CCLI/TUES Research Support, 2003-2014; Brigham Young University Maeser Teaching Award, 2001; Temple University Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2011; ACS Fellow, 2015; Lindback Teaching Award, 2016; Outstanding Faculty Service Award, 2017; Philadelphia Section Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2018

ACS Membership:  1977; Philadelphia Section: 2008

Service in ACS Local Sections: Central Utah Section:  Councilor, 1991-2008; Chair, 1989; NCW Committee, 1989-2008. Philadelphia Section: Member, 2008-present; Director, 2012-2014. Chair-elect, 2013; Chair, 2014; Past-chair, 2015; Alternate Councilor, 2017; Rocky Mountain Region:  Chair, 1996; Secretary, 2003-2004; Secretary-Treasurer, 2005-2008. Joint Rocky Mountain and Northwest Regional Meeting:  Program Co-chair, 1995; Chair, 2008

Service in National ACS Positions:  Local Sections Activities Committee, 1992-1997; Ad Hoc committee on membership retention, 1995-1996; Meetings and Expositions Committee, 1998-2005; Chair of Meetings and Expositions Committee, 2004-2005; Society Committee on Education (assoc member), 2011-2014; Chemical Safety Subcommittee, 2011-2015; First Term Organic Chemistry ACS Exams Committee member, 2004-2014; Committee on Professional Training (assoc member), 2015-2016; Project SEED (assoc member), 2017-present; Program Committee for Chemical Education Division, 2015-present

Statement:  I enjoyed serving as the Chair of the Philadelphia Local Section of the ACS in 2014 and I learned much about the Philadelphia section as a Director for 2 years prior to chairing the section. As a result of those experiences I have gained an appreciation for the many volunteers in the Section. I am very impressed with the service and leadership skills of those who dedicate their time to the local section and I have learned much from them. I am willing to continue serving and learning. I am familiar with the responsibilities and expectations of being a councilor because I served as the Councilor of the Central Utah Section for 17 years. It is an honor to serve. If elected to serve as a councilor of the Philadelphia Section, I would work closely with the other councilors of the local section. If elected as a Director, then I would work closely with the Board to help bring new programs and new ideas to the Philadelphia Section. I understand the need for the representatives of the section to work together on issues related to the needs of the Philly section. I would listen to the needs and concerns of section members for ACS matters that come to the Council or to the Board for vote. I would solicit section feedback when necessary. I believe that Councilors and Directors should represent their constituents appropriately. As a result of this belief, if elected as a Councilor or Director, I will do my best to represent the members of the section. If I am not elected, I will continue to attend the board meetings as often as possible and serve the Philly community in whatever capacity I am able.


MICHAEL BRIGNONE, Senior Chemist, Applied Technology, Evonik Corporation

Education:  BS Chemistry, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, 2011; MS Chemistry, Bucknell University, 2013

Honors and Professional Societies:  Philadelphia Society of Paints and Coatings Technology 2015-Present

ACS Membership:  2011

Local Section Participation:  Younger Chemists Committee of Philadelphia, Board member 2015-2017, YCC Co-Chair 2017-2018, Philadelphia ACS Interim Chair Elect 2018

Statement:  I am honored to have the opportunity to run for a Director position for the Philadelphia ACS section. Since the midpoint of 2018 I have had the privilege of serving as the Interim Chair Elect of the local section. This has given me some extremely valuable experience and insight into the Philadelphia network of chemists both in academia and in industry. I see there is a need for an influx of a younger generation of chemists to step up and take leadership positions within our local section. This is something I am very passionate about as I have been heavily involved with the Younger Chemists Committee for the last three years. As a Director, I would like to help facilitate the involvement of young chemists in planning, attending, and marketing local ACS Section events. We have an incredibly large network of universities in the area, all with very strong chemistry programs. Within these programs are dozens of passionate young people ready to make a contribution to science, their institution, and to Philadelphia. These young chemists need to be recognized and their voices need to be heard to continue to ensure future success of our section.


DEBORAH H. COOK, Education Consultant, Adjunct Faculty Rider University

Education: BS Chemistry, USP, 1971; EdM Science Ed, Temple University, 1974; EdD Science Ed., Temple University, 1984

Honors and Professional Societies: ACS; NSTA; NSELA; Assoc. for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Phi Delta Kappa; N.J. Pres. Award for Excellence in Science Teaching; NJSSA Presidential Award; Section Service Award - Ullyot Award; Alumni Award (USP 2000).

ACS Membership: 1972; Philadelphia Section: 1972

Local Section Participation: Secretary, Chemical Education Group, 1979; Secretary, Education Committee, 1980; Chairman, Chemical Education Group, 1981, 1986-87, Section Secretary, 1990-91; Alternate Councilor, 1991; Board of Directors, 1992-95, 1997, 1999-03, 2007-15; Chair-Elect 2004; Chair, 2005; Immediate Past Chair, 2006; Chair-Elect; 2016, Chair, 2017; Immediate pat Chair 2018; Councilor 2006-08, 20011-19; Alternate Councilor 2009-10

Statement:  I have been an active member of the ACS since the late 1970's.  During that time, I have held a variety of offices and have served on various committees including the three-year succession of Chair-Elect, Chair and Immediate Past Chair twice.  I was appointed to two one-year terms, 2008 and 2009, on the Society Committee on Education (SOCED).  I have been appointed as a member of SOCED (2010-2012, 2013-2015, 2016-18) and twice Chaired the SOCED Task Force to revise the ACS Guidelines and Recommendations for the Teaching of High School Chemistry which were published by ACS in spring 2012 and again in 2018. I currently chair SOCED Sub Committee A (Pre-college committee).

I have served on the Philadelphia Section Board of Directors as a Section officer or a Director since 1990 with the exception of 1996 and 1998. During that time I have been an active participant in Section activities as well as at the National level.  For 2017, the year I was chair, the Section together with our event partner, the Princeton Section, was honored at the ACS Fall 2018 National Meeting and Exposition in Boston with a ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Local Section Career Services program. If re-elected to the Board, I will continue to actively support and participate in the Section activities as well to provide leadership to continue the Section’s viability and visibility in the Philadelphia area.


MICHAEL J. CASTALDI, Associate Faculty of Chemistry Immaculata, University 2015-Present

Education:  BS, St. Peters University, 1977, MS Columbia University 2014

Professional Positions:  Pfizer Medicinal and Process Chemist 1986-2010, Medicinal Chemist Sterling Winthrop Research 1978-1986, St. Peters University 2010-2016, Lehmann College, 2015-2016, Mount St. Vincent University 2014-2015

Honors and Professional Societies:  Technical Achieve Award in Organic Chemistry, 2003, Pfizer Global Research award for Scientific Achievement 2007

ACS Membership:  1977; Organic, Education and Medicinal Chemistry Divisions

National Participation:  Executive Committee member MARM planning 2016 regional meeting, Chair of Awards Committee, 2015-2016; Corporate Associates Committee ACS 2004-2010

Statement:  The American Chemistry society has been an important part of my career for close to forty years.  I have attended many of the national and local meetings of the ACS since joining in 1977.  This organization has served as an excellent professional development tool.  As I was initially from Industry and served on the Corporate Associates Committee as Pfizer’s representative.  I worked on the educational subcommittee which proved fortuitous upon my retirement from industry and my second career in academia. I was active in the New York local section and have moved to the Philadelphia area I would like to serve the local chapter as a Counselor and Director.  As I have taken students to the ACS meetings over the years I feel that I would like to foster closet ties with the area’s colleges and universities and the society.  Finally, I would like to bring the importance of chemistry and science to the non-scientist through the local sections.


MICHAEL VOGEL, Developmental Chemist, Inolex Chemical Company

Education: BA, Biology (Minor in Chemistry), Widener University, 2011

Honors and Professional Societies: Member, Toastmasters International in Valley Forge, PA, 2016-present; Vice President, Membership, Toastmasters International in Valley Forge, PA, 2017-2018; Sergeant-at-Arms, Toastmasters International in Valley Forge, PA, 2016-2017; Leader and Government Representative for Alternative Spring Break, 2006-2011; Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, 2006 – 2011; Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society, 2008 - 2011; Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society, 2010-2011

ACS Membership: 2015; Philadelphia Section: 2015

Local Section Participation: Philadelphia ACS Local Philadelphia Section Director, Board of Directors, 2018-present. Philadelphia YCC event volunteer and leader, 2015-present. Philadelphia YCC poster session planning committee volunteer, 2015-2016.
National Participation: August 2016 ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia volunteer

Statement:  Since serving the ACS Philadelphia section beginning in 2015, and then more formally this year as a Director of the Board, I am enthusiastic and passionate to continue to serve and add-value for the upcoming term. One of the things I am most proud of during my first term of service as a Director has been the implementation and organization of a career development event with other colleagues that will take place in the Fall 2018. I anticipate the event will be a success and I look forward to expanding on this passion of helping lead folks to the next level of their professional lives. Moreover, I have been proud to be a part of the Board for the Philadelphia local section along with the other members who all have the common ambition of serving our community. One of the things that I believe we can improve on as an organization is to implement a procedure or protocol for how to handle communication outside of official in-person meetings. Furthermore, I’d like to see a committee implemented that will be responsible for procuring monthly meetings and events for that particularly year. Lastly, I’d like to review responsibilities and procedures for the Communications Committee so advertising for events can be as far reaching as possible.


JASON CROSS, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Drexel University

Education: BSc (Honors) Chemistry, Brunel University, UK, 1998; PhD Organic Chemistry, University of Surrey, UK, 2002. Postdoctoral work: University of Pittsburgh, 2002-2004; Vanderbilt University, 2005

ACS Membership: 2012-present

Honors and Professional Societies: Recipient of the Philadelphia section ACS award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in Chemical Sciences (2013)

Local Section Participation: Judge, Philadelphia Section ACS Undergraduate and Graduate Students Research Poster Session, Drexel University, 2013, 2016; Board member 2016 to present; Awards Committee 2016 to present; Chair of the Tellers Committee 2017 to present

Statement: I have been involved in both teaching chemistry and research in the UK and the US for the last 20 years as a graduate student, post-doctoral researcher and as a full-time instructor at Drexel University. I have had the honor and pleasure of serving on the board of directors for the last 3 years as well as chairing the Tellers committee and serving on the awards committee. I am passionate about chemistry and all aspects of science and am constantly promoting my students to become actively involved in scientific endeavors; whether in the classroom, through research or community programs. The ACS is an essential organization in promoting not only chemistry but all science. This facet of the ACS is increasingly important as chemistry over the most recent decades has become ever more multi-disciplinary and branches out into fields such as biology, environmental science and medicine. I see chemistry as being the theme that bridges all forms of science. If elected as a director, I would promote the viewpoints of current members but also vigorously seek new members to the ACS and pursue their active involvement with the organization. I will endeavor to do what is best for all our membership.

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