Who am I? A petition candidate for District Director II nominated by a large number of a wide variety of District II members. I have been involved for many years in volunteer American Chemical Society (ACS) activities at the local, regional, national, and international levels. I thank the hundreds of members in District II, who had confidence in me by signing my nomination. 

Why am I running? In these difficult times, our society and the chemistry enterprise in general have global issues: scarcity of research funds, employment placements, and young talented students who shun chemistry as their profession. These are issues we perceive by the general public as low self-esteem for chemistry. 

Am I the right person? Yes. Everyone at ACS, both staff and volunteers, are working to resolve these issues. I want to add my voice, talent, and skill set to the conversation as well. 

No one has an overnight solution. We need increased cooperation between Academe, Government, and Industry. We are all in this together! I have life long experience in ACS governance. With due modesty, I have the capability and unbroken determination to work toward solutions. Most importantly I have the time. 

What will I do if elected? District II includes the heartland of industry, education, and governmental labs. From Detroit, through Pittsburgh and Indiana to the Carolinas, we have many ties to great universities, global industries and businesses, and research laboratories that are well respected across the globe. To sustain membership and grow our influence as ACS, we need to train our students to be the best STEM workforce. We need partnerships between industry, universities, and national laboratories. 

How do we do this? I founded and am running a successful program, Creative Scientific Inquiry Experiences (CSIE) since 2005 at my University. It is a supportive set of experiences for our students and with our partners. Through these experiences, we have gone beyond the imparting of content, and have shown our students what it is to work in the STEM fields. Our industry and research laboratories have partnered with us to enhance curricula, set up teams to solve real problems, and to communicate that work to the public. In this way we improve the public image of chemistry, enable students to get real-world experiences, and to “hit the ground running” when they seek employment. We are building bridges of collaboration between all three in our District and will expand it to national level as well.

What’s in it for You? 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 members and our profession. 

Future Goals/Plans. In everything we do as ACS volunteers, we are committed to ACS 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 advances 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. The general public does not appreciate the benefits they receive by chemical developments. The media concentrates on the 1% of problems and not the 99% of benefits. Politicians withhold funds for research and create restrictive regulations. Employers move jobs to places more favorable to chemistry. The negative image disillusions 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. Today, many of those attending meetings have their employers pay registration. Journals are easily available through libraries or electronically. Today’s chemistry practitioner expects benefits for membership.

Can we solve the problems? Yes, we can, together. One Director, or even the whole Board cannot do it overnight. Leadership and grassroots efforts are needed to improve the chemistry image. I will work with you, the member. I will inspire you to help at the grassroots level by proposing a series of listening sessions at regional, local section, and chapter meetings. These focus group discussions will identify our collective needs that we will prioritize and develop implementation plans, following a timeline. We will celebrate our successes and pivot, as we need. And as my father always said to me, “Whatever you do, do it well”. I will.

It would be my honor to serve District II members and would greatly appreciate your vote.