Volume 87 Issue 36 | pp. 86-87
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

For Director-At-Large: Valerie J. Kuck

Department: ACS News
Keywords: American Chemical Society, candidates, Election Statements

Valerie J. Kuck

North Jersey Section. Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, N.J. (retired)

Born: 1939

Academic record: St. Mary of the Woods College, B.S., 1961; Purdue University, M.S., 1965

Honors: Bert Belden Award for Distinguished Service to the ACS North Jersey Section, 2008; Award for Volunteer Service to ACS, 2004; ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, 2000; Shirley B. Radding Award, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 1999; Distinguished Alumnus Award, Purdue University, Department of Chemistry, 2005; Sylvia Stoesser Lecturer, University of Illinois, 2001; Harvey Russell Award, ACS North Jersey Section, 2001; W. Lincoln Hawkins Award for Mentoring Excellence, Bell Labs, 2000; Lucent Technologies Affirmative Action Award, 1999; Best Paper at the International Wire & Cable Symposium, 1998; Sigma Delta Epsilon, 1962

Professional positions (for past 10 years): College of St. Elizabeth, Chemistry Department, adjunct professor, 2008; Seton Hall University, Chemistry & Biochemistry Department, visiting professor, 2001–06, Women's Study Program, 2001–06; Lucent Technologies (AT&T Bell Labs), staff member, 1967–2001

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, 2007–09; councilor ex officio, 2007–09; Committee on Grants & Awards, member, 2007–09; Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, member, 2007–09; Graduate Education Advisory Committee, member, 2007–09; Program Review Advisory Group, member, 2007–09; career consultant, 1998–2009; Petroleum Research Foundation Steering Committee, member, 2007–08; Council Policy Committee (voting), 2006–08, (nonvoting), 2004–05, 1996–2000, 1988–93; Committee on Nominations & Elections, 2000–05, chair, 2004–05; Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs, 1999–2000, chair, 1999–2000; Committee on Committees, 1994–98, chair, 1996–98; Committee on Local Section Activities, 1991–93, chair, 1991–93; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, 1985–90, chair, 1988–90, committee associate, 1984, program coordination adviser, 1993–99, 1988–90; Committee on Economic Status, 1980–87, chair, 1987; Professional Programs Planning & Coordinating Committee, 1987; Committee on Professional Relations, committee associate, 1977–79; Women Chemists Committee, 1973–78, secretary, 1974–77; Canvassing Committee, ACS Award for Team Innovation, 1994–95, chair, 1994–95; Canvassing Committee, Garvan Medal, 1973–78; Task Force on Implementation of Electronic Balloting, cochair, 2005; Task Force on Technical Programming, 1998; Task Force on Industry Relations, 1995; Task Force on Continuing Education, 1992–93; Industrial-Academic Sabbatical Task Force, 1987

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1965. North Jersey Section: councilor, 1975–2007; chair, 1992; chair-elect, 1991; National Chemistry Week, chair, 1994–2009; Professional Relations Committee, chair, 1998–2009, member, 1975–83; career coordinator, 1998–2009; Project Wonder Science Task Force, 1998; General Interest Program, chair, 1993, 1986–89; Nominating Committee, 1997–2009, 1994, 1989–92, 1985, 1983, 1980; Baekeland Award Committee, 1991; Education Committee, 1993–2009; Indicator Advisory Committee, 2009, 1982–86; Long-Range Planning Committee, chair, 1987–88; Women Chemists Committee, cochair, 1977; Metrochem Steering Committee, 1982, treasurer, 1982. Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting: Steering Committee, 2004–05, 1998–99. Division of Professional Relations: treasurer, 1982–88

Member: ACS Division: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

Related activities: Cooriginator of Sci-Mix and the Town Hall Meetings; Special ACS Symposia on High Temperature Superconductors & Cold Fusion, organizer and chair; published 43 papers, coedited two books and a textbook chapter, was granted 21 U.S. patents; Rutgers University, Chemistry Department, Advisory Committee, 2009


Kuck's Statement

These are exciting times for chemical scientists. We can play a major role in finding solutions to global challenges such as alternative energy resources, public health issues, and the availability of safe water and food for all people. Through its capacity to convene and inform the chemical community of the latest advances, ACS is crucial to solving the world's problems. If you reelect me to the ACS Board, I will work for the implementation of a number of important initiatives for the benefit of our members and other chemical professionals.

ACS must continue to deliver fundamental cutting-edge science. Our profession thrives when we communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge. To that end I pushed for PressPacs and NewsBriefs to be made available to all members and encouraged and supported further expansion of the recent efforts to make presentations from the national meetings available on the Web. I will strive to have wider coverage of the findings from our various meetings and conferences for the benefit of all our members. While continuing to support new initiatives, I will work to ensure that Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and the Publications Division have sufficient resources to thrive and keep offering high-quality services to the chemistry community.

We need to strengthen our outreach to the next generation of chemists. I urge all divisions to involve more graduate students in organizing symposia. Years ago, in an effort to help students find a home in our society, I conceived of the idea of holding the highly successful Sci-Mix. Going forward, I intend to work to have events scheduled that allow graduate students and postdocs to network and learn about the society's wide variety of programs.

Recently, chemical health and safety has attracted my attention. I am concerned about the apparent lack of comprehensive information on safe laboratory techniques that can be readily accessed by students and other ACS members. I have brought this matter to the attention of several ACS units that are exploring the society's role in this important issue.

As a local section career coordinator, a career consultant on the national level, and a career workshop presenter at colleges and universities as well as at national meetings, I am in touch with many chemists who need the society's help in these difficult economic times. I will continue to push for ACS to be an indispensable professional and informational resource for members and other chemical professionals. The efforts focusing on career management are a positive first step.

Industrial members make up 60% of our membership. I will encourage the expansion of programs such as the boilthisdown.org website, which posts current chemical-related industry news stories, and the monthly career industry webinars that are tailored for individuals employed by small businesses. We need to have more individuals from industry become involved in our society.

As the world's largest scientific society, ACS has the opportunity and obligation to be a leader in education. At my suggestion, ACS has reached out to science museums to increase the general public's awareness of our podcasts. In the first quarter of this year, there were nearly 68,000 downloads of "Bytesize Science," "Science Elements," and "Global Challenges," more than twice the rate for last year.

It is crucial that ACS identify those areas where it can have the greatest impact on K–12 science education. If reelected, I will work to see that more of our members become involved in assisting K–12 teachers. For the past 18 years, I have chaired my section's National Chemistry Week activities and have marveled at the creativity and skill of our high school and college teachers and industrial chemists in engaging children. Those volunteers presented a very positive image of chemists and chemistry to the general public.

In light of the society's decreased reserves and uncertain future revenues, the board must act strategically and compassionately. However, it is crucial that the society remain true to its fundamental goals, as stated in the Congressional Charter, to encourage and advance chemistry in all its branches. CAS and the Publications Division must be kept viable.

In closing, having chaired my local section and six national committees and served on many committees and task forces, I have found that my involvement in ACS activities has given me a broad understanding of the ways our society can serve chemistry, its practitioners, and the general public. I have a solid record of achievement and innovation and ask that you cast one of your votes for director-at-large for me.


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