Tom Connelly, current executive director and CEO of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and UT alum Diane Schmidt, former president ACS, visited with faculty, staff, and students from the University of Tennessee’s Department of Chemistry July 17. During their visit, the pair also met with key UT personnel and toured research facilities. Connelly, on behalf of the ACS, was honored for continuing investments in the college.
The American Chemical Society is a pillar of the scientific community and the premiere organization of chemistry advocates in the nation. The ACS maintains that role by bringing together the foremost minds in the field at its nationally recognized conferences, providing vast resources to academic and research-based institutions, and spearheading the industry’s outreach programs.
Though predominantly US based, the ACS has started to expand its international community building efforts with the formulation of both The Atlantic Basin and Pacific Chem conferences. These international specialty conferences, among other dedicated communication efforts, aim to provide networking opportunities and informational support to individuals from around the world. ACS’s stated mission is “To advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.”
“The University of Tennessee is a strong participant in the chemistry enterprise and as such, the university has and continues to enjoy strong ACS support,” Connelly said. “UT regularly maintains representation at the national conferences, contributes and benefits from ACS informational exchange programs, and maintains a strong student chapter.”
Connelly and Schmidt recognized the compelling efforts of both chemistry faculty and their labs. Connelly will report his findings to the ACS board of directors. Future improvements to ACS/UT relations will include improved communications and increased involvement.
Schmidt received an MS from the University of Tennessee, and a BA in chemistry from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Immediately after finishing her PhD, she joined Procter & Gamble, where she served as Section Head with responsibility for safety and regulatory affairs before retiring in 2014. Schmidt is past Chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board is still involved with the Department of Chemistry’s Board of Visitors.
“When you receive your degree, they tell you to have all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges conferred by that degree, and I personally feel that one of those rights, responsibilities, and privileges is belonging to the American Chemistry Society,” Schmidt said