California Section. US Environmental Protection Agency (retired), Las Vegas, Nevada.
Academic record: California State University, East Bay, BS, environmental chemistry, 1980; University of California, Davis, PhD, agricultural and environmental chemistry, 1985; University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, postdoctoral researcher, 1985–87.
Honors: ACS Fellow, 2012; Agrochemicals Fellow, 2014; ACS Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture, 2013; US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development (ORD), Diversity Award, 2013; ACS Southern Nevada Local Section, David W. Emerson Award for Outstanding Service, 2012; ACS Award of Appreciation for general cochair, 2008 Western Regional Meeting; Appreciation for Dedication and Service Award, Agrochemicals Division, 2002; US EPA, ORD, Statesmanship Award, 1999; EPA Bronze Medal Honor Awards, 2010, 2002, 1991; Women in Science and Engineering Award for Environmental Pioneers, 1998; Award of Distinction for Outstanding Alumni, University of California, Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, 2001; Citation for Excellence, UC Davis Alumni Association, 2001; US EPA, ORD Strategic Planning Award, 2001; US Senate Commendation and Recognition for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, 2000, 1999, and 1995; Southern Nevada Federation Executive Association, Outstanding Accomplishment in Science and Technology Achievement Award, 2000; US EPA/ACS Joint Science Achievement Award in Chemistry, 1996, 1992.
Professional positions (for past 10 years): US Environmental Protection Agency, research chemist, 1987–2019 (retired); consultant, Agricultural and Environmental Research, Analytical Methods, Policy, and Public Outreach, 2019–.
Service in ACS national offices: Council Policy Committee, elected 2020, Committee on Meetings and Expositions, 2018–, committee associate, 2017; Committee on Divisional Activities, 2010–16, committee associate, 2009; Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2006–16; Editorial Advisory Board for Analytical Chemistry, 1997–2000; ACS Committees and Presidential Special Task Force (ad hoc basis)
Service in ACS offices: Agrochemicals Division: councilor, 2009–20, chair, 2003, chair-elect, 2002, program chair, 2001. Southern Nevada Section: chair, 1998, 1989, chair-elect, 1997, 1988. ACS Western Region: board chair, 2012–14. 43rd Western Regional Meeting: cochair, 2007–08; Women Chemists Committee, chair, Southern Nevada Local Section, 2010–14. Agrochemicals Division: Executive Committee 2000–; Organizing Committee for the 13th International Union of Pure and Applied Pesticide Chemistry Congress, 2011–14.
Member: Member of ACS since 1983. ACS Divisions: Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Agrochemicals; and Analytical Chemistry; Women in Science and Engineering (past member).
Related activities: North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Dioxin/Furan/HCB Task Force, US EPA, appointee, 2010–14; US Centers for Disease Control, appointee, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, Environmental Health and Safety Research strategy writing team, 2010–14; Interagency Committee on Analytical Methods for Homeland Security, 2012–15, member; United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria, advisor, 1999–2003; US EPA ORD, appointee, National Science Foundation, Chemical Sciences Roundtable, member, 1999–2002. ACS National Meetings and Pittsburgh Conferences symposia chairmanships (>30). EPA ORD Policy Committees for Guiding Research Policy and Supporting a High Performing Organization. Publications: 67 journal articles, 22 book chapters, 4 edited books, 12 proceedings, 30 EPA reports, 3 patents.
Van Emon’s statement.
Our society is a community
Participating in various ACS activities has been a truly rewarding experience for me. I have made many friends due to my involvement with ACS, and I consider them my “support group” both professionally and personally. My initial involvement with ACS began in graduate school. I still remember nervously waiting to present my first paper and getting wonderful support from more experienced ACS members. Since then, I have passed this care on by mentoring and encouraging new members. I have been very involved in developing symposia and program planning for both national and regional meetings, enabling me to become quite familiar with the technical part of ACS. Becoming a Councilor for the Agrochemical Division opened up an exciting new aspect of ACS for me. I truly enjoy the intricacies of governance and being a part of it! I find that my experiences as a government researcher have suited me well for participation in ACS governance.
Inclusion, diversity, and respect
I am prepared to help address the overall ACS challenges of member retention, employment for chemists, global interactions, outsourcing of industrial jobs, STEM outreach, publications and changes in information dissemination and management, retraining for the changing job market, data security, diversity and inclusion, safety, and ethics. ACS must continue to be a welcoming society and must have clear procedures to address complaints of bullying or harassment in a timely manner and value all members. The ACS Strategic Plan is a living document and may need updating to address evolving issues as identified by member input.
To maintain a robust research program, I have had to learn and apply administrative, financial, legal, personnel, and social skills. I would apply such a multifaceted approach as a board member. In establishing inter- and intragovernmental, academic, and industrial collaborations, I have been both a team leader and a team player.
One can view any large organization as a hierarchy of teams. A successful organization has clear communications among and between teams. I view District VI as a team comprising other member-based teams. The health of the district depends on transparency and communications to facilitate team building. Members need a clear path to present comments, concerns, or issues and must be assured of a response. Members need to believe that they are valued. I have found that unless there is a “standard operating procedure” for people to comment, express concerns, and ask for assistance, they tend not to be engaged and lose interest in the team. This is not good for membership retention or member recruitment. I would work to establish increased member engagement within District VI, providing a closer link to the Board.
Communication, innovation, and advocacy
Increased communications and networking across the District would help members support each other, provide feedback as to what is and isn’t working, and help ACS to better serve its members. I have been known to “work outside of the box” and to have some fun along the way. During the International Year of Chemistry, I received a Local Section Innovative Project Grant to outfit taxi cabs that traversed the Las Vegas resort corridor with signage stating, Chemistry is Everywhere. Local and international tourists had a brief introduction to the presence of chemistry in their everyday lives.
Public and congressional outreach to promote the importance of chemistry are key ACS activities. During my government career, I briefed congressional members and staffers and would look forward to being on Capitol Hill for the annual ACS Legislative Summit day to champion Chemistry and the ACS.
Experienced and certain leadership in uncertain times
My ACS involvement includes both local section and divisional activities. I have been chair of the Western Regional Board, chair of the Southern Nevada Section for two terms and chair of the Section’s Women’s Committee. I was general cochair of the 2008 Western Regional Meeting. I am a Councilor for the Agrochemicals Division and have been division chair, program chair, and member of the Executive Committee. I am currently a member of the Meetings and Exposition Committee, and subcommittee member for Technical Programing. I have been a member of the Divisional Activities Committee and cochair of the Subcommittee on Divisional Enhancement & Outreach.
My ACS tenure ranges from graduate student, to working mom, and now having a son who is an ACS member and a committee participant. My time with ACS has been fulfilling and well spent, and I look forward to a potential new chapter as your advocate on the ACS Board of Directors.
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