Service to ACS Ajay Mallia, Ph. D., ACS Fellow

Mallia is an active leader of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and he held various leadership positions at the national, regional, divisional, and local levels of the ACS. In recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions to science, the profession, and society, Mallia has been selected as a member of the Fellows of the American Chemical Society. For his volunteer service to the ACS, Mallia was awarded the national outreach volunteer of the year Award (2020), E. Ann Nalley regional award (2014), and outstanding local section volunteer award (Chemical Society of Washington, 2014).

National ACS

2015- Present : Member (2017-present), Associate Member (2015-2016), Project SEED National Executive Committee, American Chemical Society.

As a national executive committee member of the ACS Project SEED, Mallia helped the committee to review SEED proposals and make decisions regarding the level of funding. Mallia promoted awareness and recognition of Project SEED within ACS, the scientific community, and the general public. Dr. Mallia attended all ACS SEED committee meetings to represent the interests and in the long- and short-range planning in the design and execution of the SEED programs. Mallia also served as secretary of ACS Project SEED Committee and recorded minutes of the executive committee and open meetings. For his achievements, Mallia was selected as one of the panelists to talk about the ‘Impact of Project SEED’ at the Project SEED 50th Anniversary Celebration Presidential Symposium at the ACS National Meeting in Boston in 2018.

2015- Present : Secretary, Project SEED National Executive Committee, American Chemical Society.

Effectively documented executive committee meeting minutes and shared with the committee members to present at ACS councilor meetings.

With ACS Project SEED committee members and coordinators at theProject SEED open meeting at ACS Fall National Meeting, Boston 2018

2020- Present : Chair, Project SEED Awareness and Expansion Subcommittee.

Project SEED Awareness and Expansion subcommittee identifies and pursues opportunities to increase the visibility of Project SEED and the number of active Project SEED sites. As a chair of the SEED awareness and expansion subcommittee, Mallia with other SEED committee members launched a webinar, he also discussed Project SEED at the southeast regional meeting (SERMACS) of the ACS in 2017, 2018, and 2019. At the SERMACS Mallia co-chaired a symposium and poster session.

2020 : Committee member-Project SEED summer virtual camp

2017- Present : Certified facilitator for the American Chemical Society Leadership Development System.

The ACS Leadership Development system helps ACS members to learn and practice leadership skills and strengthen their confidence in day to day life and their profession. The courses are divided into core leadership competencies such as personal capability, interpersonal skills, focusing on results, and setting a clear direction. Mastering these skills gives our members an advantage and makes our leaders outstanding incorporate and many other organizational environments.

Dr. Mallia is a certified facilitator and facilitates collaboration across boundaries workshop. Collaboration is one of the most important solutions to many problems among organizations and corporations as well as ACS leaders. In the four hours facilitated workshop, Mallia teaches the four stages of collaboration (Partner selection, Formation, Implementation, and Termination) and gives tips and tricks to help find common ground. By attending this course, participants also learn how to leverage differences that can result in successful collaboration. Mallia has trained more than 100 ACS leaders, including the ACS board of directors, ACS Local Section Chairs and National Section Chairs, and other professionals.

ACS Georgia Local Section

With ACS Georgia members at the 2018 Annual Holiday Party

2020-present : Treasurer, American Chemical Society Georgia section.

Received and disbursed operating funds of the American Chemical Society Georgia section. Maintained accurate financial records for the section and prepared periodic and annual reports on the section’s fiscal condition.

With ACS GA Executive Committee members and 2020 ACS President Dr. Luis Echegoyen
With Georgia Gwinnett College ACS Undergraduate Students Affiliates

2017-2019 : Chair Succession, American Chemical Society Georgia Section.

ACS-Georgia members highlighted on ACS-ChemLuminary Award Flyer

Presided over all executive meetings, appointed committees to successfully organize activities and achieve ACS core values. In 2018 ACS-GA held 60 activities/events/meetings (87% increase over 2017) that reached 14,756 participants. Under Mallia’s leadership as a chair, ACS-GA won six ChemLuminary awards (finalists for 14 awards). In 2019 ACS-GA collaborated with 119 K-12 schools and we had 13965 participants in our outreach activities. These events reached a very diverse range of people in terms of age/abilities/gender/ethnicities. ACS-GA connected with members, retirees, and students from K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and the general public. Organized monthly meetings, science cafés, selected speaker and venue, organized graduate, undergraduate, and HS student’s research symposium. As a Chair-Elect and programming committee chair in 2017, Mallia organized 10 monthly meetings and 3 science cafés that was participated by 581 participants (37 % increase compared to 2016).

ChemLuminary Award Ceremony 2019 ACS Fall National Meeting

2018-Present : Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) coordinator at Georgia Section of American Chemical Society.

In 2020 Georgia Local Section won the Outstanding community involvement in CCEW ChemLuminary Award.

A virtual outreach activity/demonstration workshop was organized based on the CCEW theme 'reducing our footprints using chemistry'. 150 high school students participated in the event. The celebrating chemistry magazine was distributed to 1600 K-12 students. The outreach demonstrations include, water pollution, consequences and the purification of water. Oil spill and the remediation, electrolysis of water, and demonstration of fuel cell car.

2021 CCEW demonstration

In 2019 Mallia organized week-long (21h total) ‘chemistry of paper’ themed outreach activities at six different places (two HS, one college, and three museums, a 50% increase compared to 2018). A total of 1121 attendees participated in 2019 CCEW events (a 17 % increase compared to 2018).

ACS-GA CCEW activities address the chemistry of paper and had a great impact on K-12 (HS, middle school, and elementary) students, teachers, college students, and the general public in our section and, very importantly, in our community.

In 2018 CCEW events were organized at four different places (two HS, one college, and one museum, a 300% increase compared to 2017). In 2018 a total of 960 attendees participated in CCEW events (a 1400% increase compared to 2017). In 2018, CCEW also had more volunteers (20 volunteers, a 230% increase compared to 2017).

2019-2020-Chair, ACS GA Standing Rules Task Force

2017- present : American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT)/ACS Science Coach.

Presenting a workshop on research topic selection at Peachtree Ridge HS

2019-Present : You Be the chemist challenge coordinator.

You Be the Chemist Challenge is a collaborative, multilevel academic competition for middle school students that celebrates the science of chemistry and elevates STEM careers. Mallia started organizing You Be the Chemist Challenge in the North Metro Atlanta area in 2019 and had more than 400 middle school students participate in the first year.

2017- 2019 : Member of the Herty Award Committee, ACS-Georgia.

2017- Present : Project SEED coordinator.

As a Project SEED coordinator, Mallia identifies mentors within a geographic area and works with the school teachers to recognize economically disadvantaged HS students for participating in the summer Project SEED research. Mallia raises funds, coordinates activities for the SEED students, and follows up with the mentors to identify areas of needed support. After moving to Georgia in 2017, Mallia established the Project SEED program at ACS Georgia Section (ACS-GA). In 2017-2019 ACS-GA supported 27 economically disadvantaged HS students. Many of the SEED fellows Dr. Mallia has helped as SEED coordinator have received ACS SEED scholarships and various college scholarships.

2018-Present : Organizing Chair of Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Herty Medalist Undergrad Research Symposium at GGC Fall 2019

The Georgia Section has started Celebrating Dr. Charles Herty’s Contributions to Chemistry and Humanity and honored his legacy each year since 1933 by presenting the Herty Medal, beautiful gold medallion award to an outstanding Southeastern U.S. chemist or chemical engineer. In 2005 ACS GA section started the Herty Medal Undergraduate Research symposium to leverage the Herty Award to impact undergraduates and diversity.

HMURS 2021 presentations

The 16th Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was held virtually on October 1, 2021. At the symposium, Georgia Gwinnett College School of Science and Technology, Associate Dean Dr. Joseph Ametepe welcomed the attendees and Georgia Gwinnett College Provost Dr. George Low introduced 2021 Herty Awardee Dr. Anne-Francis Miller (University of Kentucky). In the #HertyAward address, Dr. Anne-Francis Miller discussed “How flavoenzymes can light our way to sustainable energy, without breaking the laws of thermodynamics". Dr. Bryan Boudouris (Purdue University) and Dr. Michelle Gaines (Spelman College) spoke about their research on “The chemistry and application of bioelectronic polymers and “Conventional & Creative Ways to Study the Interfacial Chemistry of Polymer Materials” respectively. At the professional development session Dr. Felicia Fullilove (American Chemical Society), discussed about “Networking: The art of making intentional connections.” A virtual poster presentation section was held and the organizing committee received poster presentation abstracts from 15 institutions.

Because of COVID 19, the 15th Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS) was held virtually on September 25, 2020. At the symposium, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), School of Science and Technology Interim Dean, Dr. Sonal Dekhane welcomed the attendees and GGC provost Dr. T. J. Arant introduced 2020 Herty Awardee Dr. Susan Richardson. In her presentation, Dr. Richardson discussed “What’s in My Drinking Water?” and about “Unconventional Path to a Rewarding Environmental Career. Dr. Ingrid Montes, Department of Chemistry, the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, and Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez, Johns Hopkins University spoke about their research on “Synthesis, characterization and biological activity of ferrocenyl derivatives: Study of the effect of different core moieties and substituents on anticancer and antioxidant activity” and “Nanoparticle models, macroscale impacts” respectively. The symposium was well attended by more than 200 attendees. A virtual poster presentation section was held and more than 50 undergraduate students from 14 institutions submitted their abstracts for the presentation. At the symposium, the top 6 undergraduate presentations selected by the judging committee were showcased and the best presentation awards were announced.

Photographs of 15th HMURS

14th HMURS was held at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) on September 20, 2019. At the symposium GGC President Dr. Joseph welcomed the attendees and GGC provost Dr. T. J. Arant introduced 2019 Herty Awardee Dr. Lisa McElwee-White. In her presentation Dr. McElwee-White discussed about “chemistry for 3-D Printing of Metal Nanostructures with Metal Complexes and Electron Beams”. Dr. Wallace Derricotte, Morehouse College and Dr. Katelyn Zimmermann, GGC spoke about their research on “A Symmetry-Adapted Perturbation Theory Approach to Reaction Force Analysis” and “Environmental Chemistry” respectively. The symposium was well attended by ~200 attendees (82 % increase compared to 2018). After the talks 76 undergraduate students (65 % increase compared to 2018) from 19 institutions (in and out of state, 58 % increase compared to 2018) presented and defended their research at poster presentation section. The best presentation award was also held.

With 2018 HMURS participants

The 13th HMURS was held at Georgia Gwinnett College on September 21, 2018. At the symposium GGC Provost Dr. T. J. Arant welcomed the attendees. SST Associate Dean Charles Pibel talked about “Chemistry: The Study of the Matter that Matters” and 2018 Herty Medalist Dr. Sandra J. Rosenthal, Vanderbilt University discussed about “The Study and Utility of Single Quantum Dots There and Back Again; Structure-Photophysics Correlation to Single Protein Tracking”. After the talks 46 students from 12 institutions presented and defended their research at poster presentation section. The best presentation award was also held.

2017-present : Founder and organizing chair/co-chair of ACS-Georgia Research Symposium.

The main goal of ACS Georgia Symposium is to foster intergenerational discussion at the meeting/symposium with the hope that the students could learn something from experienced senior chemists/retirees and senior chemists can guide and see how the next younger generation is taking the field of chemistry into the 21st century. At the event we honored 50-60 awardees and ACS GA graduate, undergraduate, and high school students’ presented their research posters and interacted with the members, senior members, and other guests present. Each year around 28 students, including graduate, undergraduate and HS students present their research at the ACS GA poster presentation. This event also honored the Chemistry Olympiad finalists from the Georgia section and Project SEED mentors.

Chemical Society of Washington Local Section

Dr. Mallia served the Chemical Society of Washington section (CSW) in several roles (alternate councilor, membership and activities committee chair, social media committee chair, Project SEED committee chair, sustainability committee member, and educational and outreach committee member).

Under his leadership from 2012-2016, CSW successfully organized 33 events that had 2376 participants.

To help early-career chemists in the chemical sciences, Mallia organized career management workshops; these workshops were attended by about 175 participants.

Mallia led a team of CSW volunteers and participated in an outreach event at the Anacostia environmental youth summit. The main aim was to educate the students about air and water pollution and explain greenhouse gases and oil spills with some demonstrations. About 400 K-12 school students from 10 DC public schools participated in this activity.

To attract young chemists, Mallia organized thematic networking trivia, happy hours, and mole day celebrations. Mallia collaborated with various DC museums and organized Museum visits, lectures, and chemistry lab tours.

Regional ACS

2019 : Organizing Co-Chair of Project SEED Symposium at 71st south east regional meeting of American Chemical Society, October 20, 2019 Savannah, GA.

2018 : Symposium Session Chair: The 70th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society October 31 – November 3, 2018, Augusta, GA, Chemical Education.

2018 : Organizing Co-Chair of Project SEED symposium at 70th southeast regional meeting of American Chemical Society, October 31, 2018, Augusta, GA

Divisional ACS

2021-Present: Alternate Councilor, Colloids and Surface Chemistry Division

With COLL executive committee members

2018-Present : American Chemical Society organic chemistry exam committee member at the ACS division of chemical education examination institute.

The ACS Examinations Institute prepares and publishes standardize exams for chemistry courses that can able to measure and compare the chemistry content knowledge of the students.

2019 : Symposium Session Chair: 258th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA, August 25-29, 2019, Basic Research in Colloids, Surfactants & Interfaces. Polymer Particles & Gels.

2018 : Symposium Session Chair: 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans. LA, March 18-22, 2018, Basic research in colloids, surfactants and nanomaterials.

2017 : Symposium Session Chair: 255th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Washington DC. LA, August 20-24, 2017, Basic research in colloids, surfactants and nanomaterials.