A candidate for Director at Large on the ACS Board. I have been involved for many years as a volunteer member in American Chemical Society activities at the local, regional, national and international levels. The Nominations & Elections Committee recognized my experience, accomplishments and devotion by placing my name on the ballot for ACS Director at Large.
In these times, our society and the chemistry enterprise have global issues: scarcity of research funds, employment placements, and young talented students who shun chemistry as their profession. These issues, perceived by the public, have low esteem for chemistry. Everyone at ACS, both staff and volunteers, are working to resolve these issues. I want to add my voice, talents, and skill set to the conversation as well.
No one has an overnight solution. We need increased cooperation between government, industry, and academia. We are all in this together!
We have many ties to great universities, global industries and businesses, and research laboratories that are well respected around the globe. To sustain membership and grow our influence, we need to train our students to be the best STEM workforce. We need partnerships between industry, universities and national laboratories.
Broadening participation in STEM by promoting diversity and inclusion is a central goal of national STEM education reform. I founded and directed a successful program, Creative Scientific Inquiry Experiences (CSIE), since 2005 at my university. We have built bridges of collaboration between all three sectors and expanded the model internationally through Fulbright. Through real-life research-based experiences with our industry and research laboratories, we improved the public image of chemistry and enabled students to hit the ground running when they seek employment.
In everything we do as member volunteers, we are committed to ACS’s core values: passion for the global chemistry enterprise; member focus; professionalism; safety; ethics; diversity, inclusion and respect. We believe these values lead to solutions to world challenges and advance chemistry as a global, multidisciplinary science.
Our collective vision is also my vision. My focus is your focus on the following:
Public image of chemistry. As we know the public sometimes fears our data and often does not appreciate the benefits of chemical developments. Politicians withhold funds for research. Employers move jobs to places more favorable for profits. The negative image can disillusion younger generations who select professions they think are more favorable to improving society and humanity.
Membership. In the past, chemists joined ACS for professional pride, to participate in meetings, and subscribe to journals. We are coming out of a pandemic and with it have come novel and innovative ways to attend meetings, both in person and hybrid; networking opportunities; and an amazing new membership structure, all to enhance opportunities for everyone in the chemical enterprise. I will certainly do my best to continue and support these enhancements.
Yes, we can, together. One director, or even the entire board cannot solve issues overnight. Leadership and grassroots efforts are needed to improve the image of chemistry. I will inspire and work with you by proposing a series of listening sessions at regional, local section and chapter meetings. I will keep you routinely informed about my activities and in asking for your input.
I will put all my efforts into guiding ACS in accord with our mission and vision to ensure that ACS meets the needs of our chemistry enterprise. These focus-group discussions will identify our collective needs, so that we can prioritize, develop, and implement plans for action. We will celebrate our successes and pivot as we need.
I have lifelong experience in ACS governance. With due modesty, I have the capability and unbroken determination to work towards solutions. Most importantly, I have the time.
And as my father always said to me, “Whatever you do, do it well.” And so, I will!
I offer my obligation and devotion to improving the chemical enterprise and my experience and time to serve our Society as Director at Large. I would greatly appreciate your vote.