Education

The ACS has important programs across the lifecycle of a chemistry/science student’s education whose funding need to be strengthened and expanded to ensure global qualification of graduates in the world of chemistry. We need to support the “entry-experience” for many students entering the world of chemistry, such as National Chemistry Week, Student Affiliates, and ACS Scholars programs. Throughout the educational journey, we support our chemistry teachers through AACT, and this makes an enormous positive impact on students. Finally, as students are completing their degrees, the ACS can play a pivotal role through career fairs, workshops, and ACS meetings (employment clearing house) to ensure robust knowledge about advanced education and employment opportunities. I am deeply committed to working to enhance and improve the educational lifecycle of a chemistry student’s journey into our profession, and would like to work especially with District II Section to apply the full power of ACS programs to meet our District’s needs.

Employment

Having been employed in industry for 32 years, I understand the dynamics of the industrial environment for chemists. I have mentored young scientists as they transitioned from academia to industry, emphasizing the importance of continuously improving one’s skills in order to be relevant and stay current in industry. My company has been through multiple evolutions over the course of my career, which gave me and many of my chemistry colleagues’ opportunities to re-engineer skills and adapt to new roles (i.e. “mid-career transitions”). While it may “feel” like there are fewer jobs in chemistry, in fact, the American Chemical Council’s 2016 mid-year report states that chemical employment is expanding, and growth is expected every year between now and 2021 (CEN, June 20, 2016, p. 27). These opportunities range from large-size companies, all the way to mid- and small-sized companies, and include entrepreneurial options. I would like to raise the visibility of the employment growth opportunities, the requirements to be qualified for various roles, and ensure that enablers for transitions at any stage of a chemist’s career are available in the pursuit of meaningful employment.

Public Awareness

The ACS has driven multiple important programs to raise positive awareness of chemistry in the public forum. It has been my pleasure to be actively involved and supporting many of these programs, including National Chemistry week, the ACS Scholars Program, and Project Seed. These provide important positive public awareness for the profession. However, it is also necessary to be able to address the negative perceptions of chemistry in society. The ACS has been at the forefront of working to utilize facts and information to drive balance in the national debate about controversial topics such as environmental chemistry, chemical accidents, and genetic engineering. My pharmaceutical industry experience has given me relevant experience with navigating both the positives and negatives of one of chemistry’s most visible industries, and I would like to leverage that knowledge to constructively contribute to ACS public awareness programs.