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For District VI director: Jeanette M. Van Emon

by Jeanette M. Van Emon, candidate for District VI director
September 8, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 30


This is a photo of Jeanette M. Van Emon.
Credit: A&W Photography
Jeanette M. Van Emon

California Section. Retired, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Las Vegas, Nevada.

Academic record: California State University, East Bay, BS, 1980; University of California, Davis, PhD, 1985.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2012; Agrochemicals Fellow, 2014; ACS Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture, 2013; ACS Southern Nevada Local Section David W. Emerson Award for Outstanding Service, 2012; ACS Award of Appreciation for general co-chair, 2008 Western Regional Meeting; Appreciation for Dedication and Service Award, ACS Agrochemicals Division, 2002; US EPA Office of the Administrator, Award of Excellence 2019; US EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD), Diversity Award, 2013; 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, University of California, 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; US EPA Special Achievement Awards (multiple years).

Professional positions (for the past 10 years): US EPA, research chemist, 1987–2019 (retired); Agricultural and Environmental Research, Analytical Methods, Policy, and Public Outreach, consultant, 2019–.

Service in ACS national offices: Council Policy Committee, 2020–; Committee on Meetings and Expositions, 2017–20; Committee on Divisional Activities, 2009–16;Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Editorial Advisory Board, 2006–16;Analytical Chemistry, Editorial Advisory Board, 1997–2000; ACS Committees and Presidential Special Task Force (ad hoc basis).

Service in ACS offices: Agrochemicals Division: councilor, 2009–, chair, 2003, chair-elect, 2002, program chair, 2001.Southern Nevada Section: chair, 1998, 1989, chair-elect, 1997, 1988, Women Chemists Committee chair, 2010–14.ACS Western Region: board chair, 2012–14; 43rd Western Regional Meeting: co-chair, 2007–08.Agrochemicals Division: Executive Committee 2000–; Organizing Committee for the 13th International Union of Pure and Applied Pesticide Chemistry Congress, presented at the ACS Fall 2014.

Member: Member of ACS since 1983.ACS Divisions: Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Agrochemicals; Analytical Chemistry.

Related activities: North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Dioxin, Furan and 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, member, 2012–15; United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria, adviser, 1999–2003; US EPA ORD, appointee; National Science Foundation, Chemical Sciences Roundtable, member, 1999–2002; ACS National Meetings and Pittsburgh Conference chair for more than 30 symposia; EPA ORD Policy Committees for Guiding Research Policy and Supporting a High Performing Organization, author. Published 80 journal articles, 23 book chapters, 4 edited books, 12 proceedings, 30 EPA reports. Holds 3 patents.

Van Emon’s statement

Dear friends and colleagues, I believe that serving on the American Chemical Society Board of Directors is one of the highest honors an ACS member can achieve. Recognition from one’s peers is deeply gratifying. I recognize that the duties and responsibilities of a board member can be significant and time intensive. My decision to represent District VI was based on knowing that I can devote the time needed to fulfill these duties.

Our society is a community

Participating in various ACS activities has been most rewarding for me. I have made many friends both professionally and personally through ACS. My initial involvement with ACS began in graduate school. I still remember nervously waiting to present my first paper and getting wonderful support, including a glazed donut, from veteran ACS members. I remember their kindness every time I have the privilege to mentor or encourage student members. I have been very involved in developing symposia and program planning for ACS meetings, enabling me to become quite familiar with the technical part of ACS. Becoming a councilor for the Agrochemicals Division provided me with an exciting new aspect of service to my division. I truly enjoy the intricacies of governance and being a part of it! Working in a government bureaucracy has well-suited me for participation in ACS governance.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect

As we are a community, we must be driven by values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR). These principles must be applied in addressing ACS challenges including member retention, employment opportunities for chemists of all skill levels, retooling for the changing job market, professional ethics, global interactions of the chemistry enterprise, STEM training, and public outreach to promote our profession. ACS must continue to be a welcoming society with clear procedures to address complaints, especially regarding DEIR, in a timely manner. Members are the society’s most important asset. Thus, all members, from new student members to those who have been members for 50 or more years, should feel valued and respected. We all have something to offer.

Membership-driven service

A large organization such as ACS can be viewed as a hierarchy of teams. A successful organization has clear communications among its membership and leadership. Members need a clear path to present comments and concerns. Members must know that they are valued, or they will become disengaged and lose interest which is not good for membership retention or recruitment.

I want to know what is working within District VI and what areas need a little attention to enhance your membership. Through my participation on the Council Policy Committee, I am learning what is important to members. I have also learned that there are many ACS resources available that members are not aware of. I would work to help members take full advantage of their ACS membership.

Communications, innovation, and advocacy

As a former chair of the ACS Western Region, I am very aware that District VI covers a wide geographical range, including part of Canada. Issues and concerns could significantly vary across this large area. I would work to establish increased member engagement within District VI and provide a close link to the board. Increased communications and networking across the district would enable members to exchange ideas, support each other, provide feedback as to what is and isn’t working, and thus help ACS to better serve you. I would very much like to visit throughout our district to meet members and make connections.

Public and congressional outreach to promote the everyday importance of chemistry is critical. During my government career, I briefed Congress members and staffers and look forward to being on the Hill again to champion chemistry and ACS. Our legislators must know the importance of science and in particular chemistry, the “central science.”

Experienced leadership and commitment

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 Women’s Committee. I was general co-chair of the 2008 Western Regional Meeting. I am a councilor for the Agrochemicals Division and have been division chair and program chair. I am co-organizing the division’s 50th celebration for fall 2023. I am a member of the Council Policy Committee and former member of the Meetings and Exposition Committee and the Divisional Activities Committee.

My ACS tenure ranges from nervous graduate student to working mom and now having a son who is an ACS member and active participant. My time with ACS has been fulfilling and well-spent, and I look forward to the honor of being your advocate on the ACS Board of Directors. My commitment to you is to be the best board member I can be.

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