Issue Date: September 8, 2014 | Web Date: September 7, 2014
For District VI Director: Paul W. Jagodzinski
Division of Physical Chemistry (Central Arizona Section). Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Academic record: Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, B.S., 1973; Texas A&M University, Ph.D., 1979
Honors: ACS Fellow, 2011; Northern Arizona University Gold Axe Educator of Influence, 2014; Colorado School of Mines, Outstanding Faculty Award, Professional Asian Students Engineering Society, 2008; Alumni Association Graduate Faculty Award, 2007; Asian Student Association Outstanding Faculty Award, 2007; Minority Engineering Program Faculty Commitment Award, 2004; department of chemistry and geochemistry Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, 2004; West Virginia University, department of chemistry, University Safety Award, 2000, Outstanding Faculty Award, 1998; Phi Lambda Upsilon
Professional positions (for past 10 years): Northern Arizona University, College of Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences, professor and dean, 2009–; Colorado School of Mines, professor, 2001–09, department of chemistry and geochemistry, head, 2001–06
Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Budget & Finance, 2004–13, committee associate, 2002–03; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, 1999–2001, consultant, 2001–06, committee associate, 1998; ACS Presidential Task Force on Support to Divisions & Local Sections, 2000; Women Chemists Committee, 1989–91, committee associate, 1988
Service in ACS offices:Physical Chemistry Division: councilor, 2008–13. Colorado Section: alternate councilor, 2005–07; chair, 2003; chair-elect, 2002. Northern West Virginia Section: councilor, 1986–2001; Nominating Committee, chair, 1985–86; chair, 1984–85; chair-elect, 1983–84
Member: Member of ACS since 1977. American Society for Engineering Education; Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences. ACS Divisions: Physical Chemistry, Geochemistry
Related activities: ACS Board Program Portfolio Management Oversight Group, 2013–14, Program Review Team, chair, 2013–14; ACS Budget & Finance Committee, Board Task Force on Financial Goals for Meetings & Expositions, 2013, B&F Subcommittee on Financial Impacts of Constitutional Amendments, 2006–10, chair, 2007–10, B&F Advisory Subcommittee, 2007–13, B&F Program Review Advisory Group, 2006–13, chair, 2010–13, B&F Subcommittee on Program Funding Requests, 2002–06, B&F Task Force on National Meeting Finances, 2002–03; Council for Chemical Research, Communication & Public Relations Committee, chair, 1999–2000; West Virginia University, assistant professor to professor, 1982–2001, department chair, 1990–2001, associate chair, 1988–90; University of Texas, Austin, research associate, 1982; Eastern Michigan University, assistant professor, 1981–82; University of Oregon, postdoctoral fellow, 1979–81
PROGRESS OF CHEMISTRY DEPENDS ON STABLE EMPLOYMENT
What is the future of our profession? We can be proud of the contributions of chemistry to everyday life, and we know many more will come. Everyone agrees that chemistry is a rewarding and exciting profession. But ... yes, there is a condition: only if you have a stable job!
Is there a problem? Our society is a membership organization; we excel in organizing meetings and distributing scientific information through journals and electronic media, but we must remember that our members are our most important asset. We are more than 161,000 strong; however, the number has not increased significantly despite the fact that every year we enroll about 15,000 new members. This is because every year we lose almost the same number of members. They are mostly young chemists who sign up upon graduation but quit within the first three to five years, mostly because they do not see how the society helps them to apply what they learned in real life.
Should we be concerned? Every candidate for an elected ACS office assures the members that they are concerned about access to publications, improving education, and advocating for chemistry, but the job situation mostly gets lip service. Recently there was only one nominee who stated concern: “For many of our ACS members, the three top areas of concern are jobs, jobs, and jobs!” How right he was! In the employment clearinghouse at the recent Dallas meeting, 770 members signed up to interview for 91 jobs. It was reported that 14.9% of the recent graduates were still unemployed after six months. As a member society, we need to pay attention to these alarming statistics.
What must we do? I am concerned about maintaining and improving our traditional activities for chemistry. Despite having a secure tenured position, I cannot ignore the employment issue. I am greatly concerned about the continuous problems many of our members, young and old, face in employment. I cannot dismiss the issue by saying that ACS cannot create jobs.
What can I do? A district director is only one member of the board of directors, but if elected I will work for a stable job situation. I want the board to focus first, second, and third on what we can realistically do in this arena, including developing new and innovative actions. We have to think outside of the box. I cannot offer you an instant solution. It will take time. But by keeping the issue in the spotlight, we will make progress. I only make promises I can and will keep. Our district covers the largest geographical area of any of the six districts. I will maintain contact with members in various ways despite our large area; I will visit local sections, and I will use social media to remain in contact with all members of our district. I ask for your support so I can begin to address this issue that is so critical for our members and our society.
I have the experience. I have thorough knowledge of ACS activities. I chaired a local section; I was both a local section and division councilor. I worked on a presidential task force for the support of both local sections and divisions. I have served on the Meetings & Expositions Committee. I am also fully familiar with ACS finances because I served on the Budget & Finance Committee for a full nine years.
This is my promise. I will work to ensure that my time as a leader does not focus on my personal projects that disappear after I leave office but rather on direction, tone, commitment, and vision that members embrace and view as the future of our society. We must be member focused, we must be effective in delivering our message, we must be efficient in our operations, and we must continually innovate and improve. We must build our community of members and what our society provides for its members. To accomplish these goals, we must ensure the financial stability of our members and our society. ACS must be positioned for the future. I ask you to allow me to start that process as your director.
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