At NYU, there are more than 300 student-led clubs and organizations. That means there are countless ways for you to find your niche, support a cause, and focus on your interests. And if there isn’t a club for what you’re looking for, you can find the resources and support to start one. In this edition of Club Spotlight, we’re focusing on NYU’s chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Making friends with other students on campus is its own kind of chemistry—the elements of different personalities join together, interact, and sometimes even come away changed. For science-minded students at NYU, the ACS is a catalyst for those lifelong bonds.

Chemistry Enthusiasts Create Lifelong Bonds

“The American Chemical Society helps STEM students connect to one another as well as NYU faculty through various events,” says Nina Najaroen, the club’s copresident and a 2020 Chemistry major at the College of Arts and Science (CAS). The university club is a chapter of the larger national organization, which is dedicated to supporting aspiring chemists and biochemists as well as anyone who has an enthusiasm for chemistry.

For some, the idea of a chemistry club might conjure images of white-coated students bent over beakers and Bunsen burners. But the ACS embraces a variety of events outside of the lab. Past events have included dinners with science faculty, winery and brewery tours, pizza mixers, and the annual March for Science.

A collage (clockwise): 1) A group of students hanging out at a table, 2) A glass dropper filling a small glass container, 3) A row of microscopes.
Creating Networks Around Your Interests

Beyond social events, the American Chemical Society helps members make the most of their chosen academic paths. “This club introduces students to the resources CAS has to offer STEM students. We place a major focus on how to get involved with research labs,” says Nina.

The club also offers first and second years the chance to make connections with more experienced students and professors. “One of my favorite events is the research mixer. It’s a great opportunity for members to network and get to know one another,” says Nina. “Older members also have the chance to offer younger members guidance on any issue or concern they may have.”

A collage: 1) Someone pouring a purple liquid into a beaker, 2) An abstract pattern formed by a series of circles on an orange background.
Excited by Science

You don’t have to be a science whiz or even an American Chemical Society member to benefit from the group’s events. The ACS hosts study sessions every semester. The Study Slams create a space for students to answer questions, clear up confusion, and practice sample problems ahead of midterms for classes like General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

The group also interacts with the broader New York City community. Each year during National Chemistry Week, they set up a booth in Washington Square Park. Last year’s theme was Marvelous Metals. Their goal is to use interactive chemistry demos, engaging conversation, and trivia for kids to spread their enthusiasm for chemistry to members of the public—maybe even inspiring a future generation of members in the process.