Claflin University is leading the way in graduating underrepresented minorities at the bachelor’s level and preparing them for graduate school in STEM.
As a proud member of ACS since 1996 and an active member of the South Carolina Section for more than 20 years, I am honored to be a candidate for the position of Director-At-Large.
As a 10th grader in a rural high school in South Carolina, I struggled with chemistry. As a result, my father found a tutor who was an undergraduate chemistry major. Her enthusiasm for chemistry became infectious. She was able to flip that proverbial light switch to reach me as a learner. As your candidate, I would like the opportunity to turn on bright lights around the country for students and adults, who like me, struggled to find the joy in the world of chemistry.
I have devoted my adult life and career to increasing opportunities and access for students in STEM, particularly chemistry. As we develop scientists for a future that is ever changing there will be a need for more leaders in chemistry to help advance jobs and careers and to contribute to the chemistry enterprise. Furthermore, it will require an “All Hands On Deck” approach to inspire and motivate ACS stakeholders to enhance the community’s perception and appreciation for chemistry.
If elected I am committed to the four priority areas outlined in the ACS 2018 Strategic Plan. My goals below are based on advancing the mission of the Society. Your Vote: Your Voice!
My priorities as your Director-At-Large
- Interdisciplinary Approaches. Members need to be encouraged and reminded to give back to their community to help the Society build networks around the world. This can be accomplished by leveraging problem-solving techniques and skills learned in other fields to broaden the chemistry enterprise. In addition to enhancing prestigious programs such as Project SEED, American Association of Chemistry Teachers and ACS Scholars should provide the foundation for impact and action! Next, retention and growth in membership should expand efforts to bolster diversity, inclusion, access and encouragement to people from different backgrounds, multiple perspectives and skill-sets. Lastly, growth in the scientific community should include an intentional recruitment plan for K-12 teachers and community college students/faculty. This is a recipe for innovation, jobs, careers, retention amongst members, and upward mobility for ACS.
- Technology-Enhanced Communications. The ACS Mentoring program and a proposed Adopt-A-Chemist Program (through local sections) could match an industry/academic mentor with students, teachers, faculty and post-docs. These partnerships would include a technological mentoring component using ACS resources to connect mentors and mentees via Skype and other communications. Then, an Advisory Council, consisting of members from academia and industry can also utilize technology to communicate, and will be aligned with goals of the CPT in supporting postsecondary education and training chemists. ACS Global Strategic Alliance and ACS International Activities are driven by global communications. Therefore, technology enhancements would increase the exchange of scientific ideas and provide access to jobs and careers. By using ACS resources, we can enhance global communications to strengthen CAS and ACS Publications, and to address new global challenges.
- Improving Public Image. Strongly encourage legislators and lobbyists to vote and advocate for additional research dollars in industry and academia, these stakeholders need to appreciate who we are, what we do, and what we contribute to the scientific enterprise. For instance, Chemist Day at the Capital should be a designated day, coordinated by the local sections in conjunction with the Society, where members meet with their legislators and discuss issues of relevance to promote the chemical sciences along with other proposed initiatives that include bringing legislators to speak at local section meetings. Finally, the establishment of an ACS Symposia could focus on public policy at every national and regional meeting and The Chemistry Ambassadors program, which includes volunteers, can help increase the public’s perception about chemistry.
What Value Can I Add to The Board?
I am a credible resource having worked in industry as a chemist and in academia as a researcher, chemistry professor and administrator. I have served ACS in many capacities as an advisor for the student affiliate chapter, SERMACS executive board and general chair 2016, taskforce for undergraduate programming and chair 2006, local section chair, chair-elect and alternate councilor. These experiences shape my philosophy and leadership style as a servant-leader. I am an ambassador for education and advocate for chemistry—a leader who will represent ACS and your interest with integrity. I would be honored to receive your vote for the position of Director-At-Large.