Issue Date: June 15, 2009
Margaret Cavanaugh Wins ACS Volunteer Service Award
The ACS Board of Directors has chosen Margaret A. (Marge) Cavanaugh, deputy assistant director for geosciences at NSF, to receive the 2010 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. The award, created in 2001, is sponsored by ACS and carries with it a cash award of $3,000. It will be presented at the Chemluminary Award Ceremony at the ACS national meeting next spring in San Francisco.
Cavanaugh said she was "humbled" by the news that she had won the award. "This is a wonderful recognition. It's great to think that people appreciate what you do," she says.
Cavanaugh began volunteering for ACS in the late 1970s when she was elected secretary of the St. Joseph Valley Section, which serves north central Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Over the past 30 years, she has chaired numerous ACS committees, including the Women Chemists Committee, the Committee on Public Relations, the Committee on Science, and most recently the Committee on Ethics. In addition, Cavanaugh served for six years as a councilor of the St. Joseph Valley Section and on the advisory board of PROGRESS, an ACS pilot project to develop, test, and evaluate programs to support the advancement of women chemists and chemical engineers.
"People like Marge keep the programs in the society going," says Maureen G. Chan, a councilor for the North Jersey Section who first got to know Cavanaugh in 1982 when they served on the Women's Chemists Committee together. Cavanaugh says that through her involvement with ACS she became close friends with many women chemists.
This is Cavanaugh's second ACS national award. In 1995, she received the first ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
Cavanaugh received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in physical inorganic chemistry from Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. She completed a postdoc at the University of New Orleans with Mary L. Good. Cavanaugh was professor and chair of the chemistry and physics department at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind., before joining NSF's chemistry division in 1989.
Chan says Cavanaugh is extremely deserving of this recognition. "She's not only competent, but she's also a very pleasant person to work with," she says.
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