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Dr. Michelle O’Malley, 2018 Rising Star Award Winner, is an Associate Professor at UC Santa Barbara researching protein synthesis and manipulation of cellular behavior for biomedical and environmental applications. Michelle grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, fascinated with biology. She was curious about how biological systems worked and felt that to understand these systems, she would have to understand chemical engineering. Michelle received her bachelor degrees in both chemical engineering and biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Delaware in 2009.

Michelle’s lab at UC Santa Barbara ( has focused on genetic and cellular engineering of anaerobic gut fungi; synthetic anaerobic consortia for bioproduction and model development; engineering synthetic fungal cellulosomes and novel biocatalysts; developing membrane proteins for drug discovery, detection, and diagnostics; and new membrane proteins for synthetic biology ( The lab has identified over a thousand new enzymes with new functions by cultivating microbes from bovine gut and feces.

Michelle has received numerous awards and recognition for her work including the ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Young Investigator Award, Henry & Camille Dreyfus Foundation Scholar the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award.

In her talk at the ACS meeting, Michelle mentioned a number of items to think about during your career. You should identify mentors and advocates. Know your strengths and where you can grow. You should keep a “feel good” folder with family pictures and notes. Give back to those who are up and coming. You shouldn’t feel the need to fall in line with the rest. Finally, blaze a new trail and have confidence!

Join WCC and Merck on Sunday August 19th from 8:25 - 12 PM at the Westin Boston Waterfront, Marina Ballroom II to celebrate 9 amazing women who are the 2018 WCC Merck Research Award. At the symposium each of the winners will present a talk on her research. If you would like to know more, check out this flyer for the symposium.

2018 WCC Merck Research Aware Symposium Flyer


Photo Credit: California University of Pennsylvania


Greeting from the Women Chemists Committee!  I am deeply honored to serve as the new chair of the WCC.  As this is my first newsletter message, I wanted to introduce myself briefly before I tell you about the fantastic programs and events WCC has to offer at the upcoming national meeting.


I first joined the Women Chemists Committee in 2011 after completing the Younger Chemist Committee (YCC) track at the Leadership Development Institute (in 2010).  My service to WCC was as Recording Secretary and member of the Programming & Events Subcommittee.  I became Program Chair in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed helping to execute a wide range of national meeting technical programs until I became Chair of the Programming & Events subcommittee in 2017.  After participating in the 2017 WCC strategic planning retreat, I’m eager to dive in and begin implementing updates and new strategies to help WCC achieve its goals and mission.


I am a Professor of Chemistry at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U), which is one of the fourteen state system universities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  My activism and volunteering on behalf of women started in 2005, when I became involved with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Women’s Consortium.  Membership in this professional organization is open to faculty, staff and students at all fourteen state system universities.  The Consortium executes leadership institutes for each of their constituencies, in addition to running an annual conference.  I had the pleasure of serving as the Secretary, Treasurer, President-elect and President of this organization, completing my term as Immediate-Past President this year. 


Now, let me tell you about the exciting lineup of networking and social events WCC has planned for the upcoming national meeting in New Orleans, LA.  On Sunday, March 18th we will have the Women Chemists of Color (WCofC) Networking Event.  On Monday, the Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast (a ticketed event) will focus on networking and careers.  WCC is grateful to have eight female members of the Board of Directors, who have volunteered to network with breakfast attendees and discuss their own career paths.  On Tuesday of the national meeting WCC hosts a poster session showcasing the research of the Spring 2018 Eli Lilly travel award winners immediately before the WCC Luncheon (a ticketed event).  The luncheon keynote, “Musings of an ACS Volunteer” will be presented by 2018 Garvan-Olin medalist, Valerie Kuck.  On Tuesday, all chemists are welcome to attend the WCC Open meeting and “Just Cocktails” reception to network and hear more about the efforts of the WCC. 


On Monday, March 19th, WCC is sponsoring a full-day symposium titled, “Science of Sexual Harassment”.  The morning session is subtitled, “The psychology and sociology of sexual harassment” and the afternoon, “Working to Stop Sexual Harassment in Departments & at Meetings”. This symposium is a spin-off from the article, “Confronting sexual harassment in chemistry” published in the September 18th, 2017 issue of Chemical & Engineering News by Linda Wang and Andrea Widener.  ( WCC is extremely grateful for the financial support from C&EN, the Committee on Minority Affairs, the Diversity & Inclusion advisory board, the Younger Chemists Committee, and the division of Professional Relations.  In association with the symposium, WCC is hosting a workshop on Tuesday, “No Means No: How to Stop Sexual Harassment”, featuring Dr. Sherry Marts.   Seats are limited for this event and tickets are only $10. 


On Tuesday morning, we’ll celebrate the accomplishments of Merck research, Dr. Rebecca Ruck, who is the 2018 winner of the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.  Additionally WCC will feature the six accomplished winners of the 2018 WCC Rising Award on Tuesday afternoon.  Please see the WCC Roadmap for all of the specific time and location details. 


Once again, I am honored to serve the WCC, and I look forward to an incredible year of WCC programs, products and services.  I welcome your ideas and suggestions !


Kim Woznack

WCC Chair

Have you ever felt devalued or slighted at work? Do you sometimes witness other colleagues being devalued or slighted? Are these incidents related to individuals’ demographic membership? If yes, please consider participating in our study - all genders, races/ethnicities, disciplines welcome.


Funded by the NSF ADVANCE Program, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is conducting a national study to chronicle the experiences of faculty with microaggressions.  We are interested in microaggresions - both personally experienced and/or witnessed- and their relationship to employees’ job satisfaction and well-being.  Collecting daily data of participants’ workplace experiences will provide valid insights into how often microaggressions occur, how they are dealt with and their consequences. All information provided will remain confidential; any identifying information provided would be removed during data processing.


Participants will: 

  • Complete a 20-minute baseline questionnaire on the first day of participation
  • Complete a 2-4-minute daily survey for 30 consecutive days thereafter at an afternoon/evening time that works for you
  • Be asked to report personal and/or witnessed microaggressions related to your work environment
  • Will receive an Amazon gift card as a token of our appreciation for your time and effort; the amount is based on your level of participation, up to $50.


To participate, or learn more about this study, please visit our website (put in the name AND the hyperlink) UML MAKING WAVES Daily Bias Survey website. Inquires or concerns regarding your participation or this study in general, can be directed to the PI, Michelle Haynes-Baratz at


Post written by: Lorena Tribe

WCC Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast

New Orleans, Louisiana

March 19, 2018, 7:30 AM (Ticketed Event)




Written by: Ean Warren


At the center of industrial, academic, government, and non-profit employers … is you! Making connections is part of the foundation to get to the next level.


The three main employers within the chemical enterprise, industry, academics, and government (including non-profits) comprise of very different groups. Each have different missions with unique management styles. What does it mean to work in these fields and how does one advance in these fields? The Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast will host women from each of these groups to discuss her career path and how she navigated the career ladder within her organization.


For over 20 years, the WCC has organized the Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast, a long-lasting program designed to initiate discussion on topics relevant to women in the chemical sciences. Join us in New Orleans for an opportunity to network with others and a discussion about the importance networking for your career.

WCC Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast - Washington, DC

August 21, 2017, 7:30AM


Carolyn Ribes web.jpg

Written by: Ean Warren


We were delighted to have Carolyn Ribes from Dow Chemical as the speaker for the Washington, DC Breakfast. Carolyn talked about her experiences abroad and working in a multicultural environment. Carolyn talked about the importance of understanding cultural aspects – those that can be observed as well as those that are hidden – in the workplace. Context, directness, facial expressions, and small talk are all important in business communications between people of different cultures. Carolyn also talked about different concepts of time, control, and operational authority. She ended with strategies for successful communications. The WCC would like to thank Carolyn for an interesting and informative talk!

Don't miss the full-day symposium on the Science of Sexual Harassment at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. The symposium takes place on Monday, March 19, and will feature speakers discussing the psychology and sociology of sexual harassment, as well as scientists talking about how to prevent harassment in departments and at scientific meetings. Visit the online technical program for speaker details for the morning and afternoon sessions.


On Tuesday, March 20, there will be a bystander training workshop, titled "No Means No: How to Stop Harassment," for those who want to learn how to identify and prevent sexual harassment. You can participate by purchasing a ticket to the workshop ($10) when you register for the meeting. If you've already registered, you can still purchase a ticket by e-mailing

Merck Symposium photo.jpg


Written by: Ann Weber


On Sunday, August 20, 2017, Amy Balija and Ann Weber from the WCC and Becky Ruck from Merck Research Laboratories presided over the 2nd annual WCC Merck Research Award Symposium at the 254th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC.  The award recognizes up to eight female 3rd and 4th year graduate students for their outstanding contributions to research and future potential to impact science in the fields of organic, medicinal, analytical, computational or structural chemistry, chemical biology, and related disciplines.  The awardees receive a $1500 stipend and the opportunity to present their research at the awards symposium.  In addition, each awardee is assigned a mentor from Merck. 


Samantha Clark (Northwestern University) kicked off the 2017 symposium by discussing her work on binary Cu-Bi compounds.  She was followed by Lisa Volpatti (MIT) whose research focuses on rapid and glucose-responsive insulin delivery.  Atomically precise, tunable organomimetic cluster nanomolecules was the subject of Elaine A. Qian’s (UCLA)
presentation.  Stephanie Hare (UC-Davis) presented her work involving a biosynthetic reaction for abietadiene synthesis.  The next awardee, Caitlin C. Bannan (UC-Irvine), discussed her research on improving force field parameterization with Bayesian inference for chemical perception.


Following the intermission, Subharekha Raghavan, Executive Director – Discovery Chemistry at Merck, presented her group’s work on soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.  The development and synthetic application of arenophile-mediated dihydroxylation reactions was the topic of Emma H. Southgate’s (UIUC) lecture. This was followed by a presentation by Hilary A. Kerchner (U Michigan) on advances in regioselective

additions to pi systems.  The final talk was by Samatha Shockley (Caltech), who discussed her research on stereoselective iridium-catalyzed allylic alkylation. 


A luncheon followed the symposium and allowed time for networking among the awardees, WCC members and Merck scientists in attendance.  Merck is acknowledged for its generous support of the WCC Merck Research Awards program. Applications for the 2019 award are due December 1.


Additional information about the award can be found at velaward/Merck_Research_Award.html

Written by: Victoria Fuentes


The ACS’ Department of Diversity programs held their diversity reception at the Marriott Marquis on Sunday, August 20th from 5-7pm.   At the event there were six students displaying their winning work from sister societies, The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE),  and the Society of the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics in the Sciences (SACNAS).  Attendance included members from all the diversity committees (chemists with disabilities, minority affairs, Younger chemists and WCC of which included former members and current members).  The Diversity Reception was a great event and great way to catch up with everyone as the meeting week began.

At the ACS meeting in Washington DC, the WCC co-sponsored a symposium by HIST that focused on female chemists who were overlooked for Noble Prizes. If you missed the symposium or the article regarding the symposium in C&EN, you should check it out.


These female scientists should have won the Nobel | September 11, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 36 | Chemical & Engineering…


Women in Drug Discovery and Development: How to Succeed as a Female in Academia and Industry

Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 2-3:30 pm ET

Session 2 of the 2018 Drug Design and Delivery Symposium

Registration Link:


"Life is not easy for any of us…We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must
believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." Marie Curie is an inspiration for all scientists and for good reason as she was a true pioneer and the first scientist to be awarded a Nobel Prize in two different categories. With more young women than ever opting to study within the STEM field, we look to answer just what it takes to create a rewarding and successful career within academia or the pharmaceutical industry as a female. We will explore insights from those in the field today to understand the technical and soft skills necessary to flourish.


What You Will Learn:

•       Insight and real life experiences from successful females in drug discovery and
development from academia to industry

•       A day in the life of each panel member highlighting their roles and
responsibilities in their specific functions

•       The technical and soft skills ideal for each panelist's position within drug
discovery and development


Sexual Harassment in the Sciences: Steps Forward

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 2-3 pm ET

Registration Link: l


“It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be safe at a conference with other chemists,” “Nicole” said in a C&EN article about sexual harassment in chemistry. Although we hear stories about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, it is also pervasive in science. Surveys show that across the nation nearly a quarter of all women have been harassed at work. Join Kate Clancy, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, as she discusses her several publications on sexual harassment in the sciences, as well as upcoming work in engineering. During this interactive free broadcast with C&EN senior editors Linda Wang and Andrea Widener of Chemical & Engineering News, Dr. Clancy will also talk about how universities and individuals should address the problem moving forward.


What You Will Learn:

•       What is sexual harassment

•       Why sexual harassment is prevalent in science

•       How to address sexual harassment in your science workplace

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is conducting a study of the impacts of gender-related experiences on women in science, engineering, and medical fields, and they have contracted with RTI International to gather information for the study. RTI International plans to conduct one-hour, in-depth telephone interviews with approximately 40 women faculty members in science, engineering, and medical fields at research institutions who have been personally impacted by any of the following behaviors in a professional setting within the past 5 years:


Someone making repeated, unwanted sexual advances to you

Someone using pressure or manipulation to get you to agree to sexual contact

Inappropriate or sexual remarks, sexual-oriented jokes, or comments about cognitive or intellectual sex differences


If you meet these criteria and are interested in being considered for the study, please complete a brief screening form here


Thanks for your support!


Click here to complete the faculty interview screening form for the National Academies study

Michelle Rogers

WCC Chair’s Message

Posted by Michelle Rogers Jul 27, 2017

L.Sremaniak 2_web.jpg

Photo Credit: Becky Kirkland, North Carolina State University


By 2017 Chair - Laura Sremaniak


The WCC’s 90th anniversary year is well underway with an exciting line up of events planned for the fall national meeting.


In the few months since my last message, the Women Chemists Committee has embarked on revising our Strategic Plan. A group of WCC members and key leaders of associated groups met for a 3-day weekend of intense work, informed by input collected from our key stakeholders.


What are we doing well? WCC excels, among other areas, in providing recognition of the accomplishments of and advocating for women, providing excellent programming, and leading change within the ACS and being respected for it. 


Where can we do better? Addressing capacity to accomplish our goals, becoming a better mentoring resource, communication, providing more career development opportunities, and giving more attention to vertical integration throughout the Society (local to national).


From that jumping off point, we examined our vision, mission, and goals and developed a list of new strategies (future projects) to meet those goals. The remainder of this year, the committee will focus on the first steps of implementing this strategic plan, so be on the lookout for the official roll-out later this year!


Our plans for the fall national meeting in Washington, DC include a symposium honoring our eight WCC/Merck Research awardees, and a poster session of our WCC/Eli Lilly Travel Awardees. We will also hear from two speakers at our fall Luncheon: our Overcoming Challenges award winner, Stacy Guzman, and Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Dean of Graduate Studies at The University of Toledo. Recognition of women remains at the core of the mission of WCC.


We also have an exciting group of speakers for our symposium on “The Nons: Non-tenure track faculty in a changing academic landscape.” This symposium follows the ACS Comment published in C&EN in the April 17 issue ( Advocacy: providing a voice to and recommendations for the concerns of women in the chemistry enterprise remain at the core of the mission of WCC.


Our breakfast speaker will be Dr. Carolyn Ribes of DOW, the Netherlands, on developing cultural competence in the workplace. We will also wrap-up with round two of WCC’s 90th anniversary celebration at our Just Cocktails/Open meeting on Monday. Developing and retaining women in the workplace remain at the core of the mission of WCC.


As I wrap up my final year on WCC, I would like to offer a few words of reflection and thanks. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve on this committee and to come to know so many amazing women working in many different sectors of the chemical enterprise. I have learned a tremendous amount from all of them.


This committee has provided me with an environment where I was able to expand my knowledge of ACS, have a front row seat to the concerns and pressures of women in various sectors of the workforce, and it has given me opportunities to develop as a leader as we work to address these issues. I truly believe I would not even been prepared or chosen for an administrative faculty position without having had the experience of watching WCC leaders in action and having the opportunity to lead projects and volunteers. 


It’s also been exciting to experience the progress we have made, sometimes independently, but also in collaboration with many other groups, in recognizing women for their accomplishments, moving the needle on ACS demographics, and in our advocacy efforts focused on awards and non-tenure track faculty. Advocacy, which remains one of our goals, has been my area of passion, and WCC is uniquely positioned to define and frame the issues, generate potential solutions, find collaborators, and effect change. I look forward to seeing the WCC’s impact in these areas and its future endeavors. Thank you, WCC!

By Ean Warren


Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast

August 21, 2017, 7:30 am–9:00 am

Marriott Marquis Washington DC, Independence Salon E

(Ticketed Event)




For over 20 years, WCC has organized the Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast, a long-lasting program designed to initiate discussion on topics relevant to women in the chemical sciences. We are delighted to have Carolyn Ribes as the speaker for the Washington, DC Breakfast. Carolyn will be talking about her experiences abroad and working in a multicultural environment. 


Carolyn is a Business Analytical Leader at the Dow Chemical Company and is currently based in the Netherlands. She earned her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the University at Buffalo and has worked for Dow for 28 years. Carolyn experienced her first culture shock when she took her first industrial job with Dow Chemical near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1989. As a member of the Process Analytical Group, she developed methods and designed systems for real time analysis of process streams. She relocated to Freeport, Texas in 1997 when she started working more on global teams, ensuring that standardized analyses were installed in Dow’s plants globally. Carolyn spent one year in Argentina participating in the start up of a polyethylene plant. In 2006, she relocated to Holland, an employee-requested move that Carolyn refers to has “her mid-life crisis”. In her current role, Carolyn provides strategic analytical leadership to manufacturing plants in over 25 countries across six continents. Cross-functional interactions (Manufacturing, R&D, Maintenance, Quality, Supply Chain, Marketing, etc.) and international collaborations are key components for success in this role.   

Want to learn more about working overseas? See the article about Carolyn and her husband in C&EN:

Join us in Washington for what will be an enlightening discussion on multicultural issues in the workplace!