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Ruth Woodall

Contributor II
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Woodall_Ruth.JPGRuth Woodall serves as the Director of the Tennessee Scholars Program, a rewards and recognition program that encourages students to take more rigorous courses so they will graduate high school better prepared for post secondary education. She was hired by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry to start this program in 2003.

Ruth Woodall graduated from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee with a BS degree in Chemistry. She was named Alumni of the Year in 2004 from the Chemistry Department. In 1984 she received her Master s degree from University of Memphis in Science Education. Ruth has continued to earn graduate hours in chemistry, business management, public relations, and education.

Prior to joining the Tennessee Chamber, Woodall taught Chemistry in the Tennessee Public School for 20 years serving in four different school systems. While teaching she took students to Russia, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, Paris and Rome to study Chemistry, Marine Biology, Zoology, and Art.

Presently, Ruth holds the office of councilor for the Nashville Section of the ACS. In her 19 years as an ACS member she has served as chair of the Nashville Section, Public Relations Chair in two local sections (Memphis and Nashville), NCW coordinator for 19 years, Government Relations chair, Earth Day coordinator, membership chair, and strategic planning chair. She has served the National ACS for 16 years on the Committee on Community Activities and for 6 years on the Committee on Public Relations. She served as a volunteer mentor to help other start public relations committees. She is currently the Chair of the Tennessee Government Affairs committee of the ACS, the General Chair for the 2010 NSTA Regional meeting the past chair of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, past chair of the National Science Teachers Association Life Members Advisory Council, member of the Tennessee ACT Policy Council, member of the Tennessee STEM Council, Member of the Board of Directors of the Neurological Sciences Foundation, and is a member of the Alignment College Access Committee.

In 19 years Ruth has been a member of the ACS Ruth has been a Volunteer as a PR Chair, NCW, Kids &Chemistry, Tour Speaker, Community Organizer of Chemistry Events, and is now a “Chemistry Ambassador”. Ruth has given more than 100 professional development workshops on chemistry topics to various audiences from k-12 to the general public to counselors to legislators. She has written several articles for the news media, for “In Chemistry”. Ruth has a web site that includes copies of power points for many of her talks that she does for her job.

In her personal time, Ruth loves singing, playing music, golfing, traveling, and making people smile.


“Toot Your Own Horn”- Become an Award Winning Section

I joined the ACS over in 1994 to become a Public Relations Chair. I was “Sparkled” by Ned Hendel and members of the Office of Public Relations. Their instructions to me were to go back to Memphis and start publicizing the good things going on your local section and “Toot Your Own Horn”, which means do it and then if you get a success tell the ACS about the success. We are the arms, hands, feet, legs, eyes, and ears of the American Chemical Society. The National Office is proud of what we do back home. We do not let them know of all of the good things we do. Most local sections do not nominate for awards. Invite me to your local section and I will show you how to begin the process of “Tooting Your Horn” at the ACS and winning awards at the ACS.

My Story - “From Farmer’s Daughter to ACS Chemistry Ambassador”

I grew up on a farm in West, Tennessee and graduated from a high school that did not offer chemistry. My aspirations were to be a Physical Therapist. I went to Union University and struggled to graduate with a degree in Chemistry and never became a Physical Therapist. My life story is one that started out being introduced to chemistry at 18 years old and became enriched as I grew older, became a teacher, an active ACS member volunteer, and now working for a business organization. I would love to share with you how the ACS has helped to transform my life and career and about the Chemistry Ambassador program. This topic is a general topic for ACS members, teachers, a dinner speech, student members, or the general public. (Non-technical).

Public Policy “It is Not What you Know, but Who You Know”

When I started volunteering to work as a chemistry educator to help effect public policy, the first things we were trained to do was (1.) Get to know the elected officials (2.) Learn how to talk to talk to them by using talking points. (3.) Determine when and where to talk to them. With practice it became easier to make a difference in public policy. I relied on other powerful “who you know” people such as the American Chemical Society to help me get my message to the elected officials. I would love to share the successes and best practices I have had in Tennessee and hopefully motivate you to make a difference in your community. I do not know it all so I am constantly trying to find people who know more than I do to help me be successful. I want to get to know you better.


Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry/Tennessee Scholars

611 Commerce St.

Suite 3030

Nashville, TN, United States, 37203


Home: 615-868-2968

Business: 615-504-6112

Cell: 615-504-6112

Fax: 615-256-6726

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