North Carolina State University Chancellor and Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry Marye Anne Fox has been selected by the ACS Board of Directors as the 2005 recipient of the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award. The $3,000 award honors outstanding public service.
Fox says she is "pleased and humbled to have been selected by my scientific peers for this award." Since she was a new professor, she has stressed to her students "the importance of bringing the scientific community together to provide mutual support and intellectual exchange," she says. "To have succeeded in improving opportunities for all scientists and to be recognized for bringing these efforts into the spotlight is a professional delight."
Texas A&M University chemistry professor F. Albert Cotton says that Fox "has been outstandingly generous in giving her time and energy to public service while simultaneously assuming the normal responsibilities of a mother and an exceptionally productive teacher-scholar." Fox's interests are diverse. In her work on science policy matters alone, Cotton says, "she has paid particular attention to questions of research ethics, the importance of basic research, the promotion of interdisciplinary and university-industrial partnership, environmental problems, and educational policy."
Stanford chemistry professor Richard N. Zare--who won the 2001 Parsons award--first met Fox at the University of Texas, Austin, where, he says, "she was making a huge difference in so many different ways, from promoting women to reach their full potential in the sciences to worrying about undergraduate education to concerning herself with promoting excellence in UT Austin's chemistry appointments."
Born in 1947 in Canton, Ohio, Fox earned a B.S. in chemistry at Notre Dame College in 1969 and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at Dartmouth College in 1974. After a two-year postdoc at the University of Maryland, Fox joined the UT Austin faculty as an assistant professor. By 1985, she was a full professor. She served as vice president for research at the university from 1994 through 1998, when she took up her current position at NC State. Over the course of her career, she has published nearly 400 scientific papers.
Fox is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She has served on numerous committees as well as editorial and advisory boards for organizations ranging from the Girl Scouts to the President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology--a group that Cotton says is "perhaps the most influential advisory body on science policy in this country."
Fox's other honors include ACS's Garvan Medal and Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and the Sigma Xi Monie A. Ferst award for mentoring graduate students.