On Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 the WCC Luncheon featured guest speaker Valerie Kuck, winner of the 2018 Garvan-Olin medal. After an introduction by former WCC Chair Dr. Amber Charlebois, Valerie presented her work, “Musings of an ACS Volunteer.”
Val described how she began by volunteering for her local section. From the local section Val became active in the national Women Chemists Committee (WCC). Val moved on from WCC to serve on the Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E). During her time on M&E, Val had a crucial role in establishing the highly successful program now known as Sci-Mix. In addition to Sci-Mix Val encouraged the society to offer very important timely programming at national meetings. Val lead the efforts to include very large scale (arena-sized) panels on the urgent late-breaking topics such as high temperature superconductors and cold fusion.
After her time on M&E, Val served the ACS on the Committee on Committees (ConC). While serving on ConC, Val urged the committee to appoint more women, industrial chemists and minorities to committee positions. Val also described her research on the composition of the faculty at Ph.D.-granting institutions. She asked, “Why are there so few women on the faculty?” Val dug in deeply with her research efforts, including site visits an interviewed different stakeholders. Val shared the results in publications in Chemical & Engineering News and an ACS symposium series book, “Are Women Achieving Equity in Chemistry?”. Val concluded her talk by describing her work on the ACS Board of Directors to increase the number of women who receive ACS national technical awards. While the numbers have seen an increase, Val encourages us all to continue to nominate the many talented women chemists we know for national technical awards!
Please join WCC in continuing to celebrate Valerie Kuck and her accomplishments for a special symposium on Monday, August 20th , 2018 at 1:30pm at the Boston Sheraton Hotel in the Independence East ballroom.
by Kim Woznack