If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



For Director-At-Large: Thomas W. Smith

September 14, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 36

Rochester Section. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.

Academic record: John Carroll University, B.S., 1969; University of Michigan, Ph.D., 1973

Honors: ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry Fellow, 2011; ACS Fellow, 2009; Chair Recognition Award, ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry, 2003; ACS Rochester Section Award, 1996; profiled in “African American Who’s Who: Greater Rochester Area,” by Mike F. Molaire, Norex Publications, 1994; Xerox Corporate Research Group Team Excellence Award, 1989; Chair Recognition Award, ACS Rochester Section, 1982; Community Educators Award, American Men & Women of Science, 1975–76; Rackham Fellowship, 1971–72; Eastman Kodak Fellowship, 1971–72

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Rochester Institute of Technology, professor, 2002– ; Golisano Institute for Sustainability, interim academic director, 2010–12

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Minority Affairs, associate member, 2014–15; Committee on Education, 2005–13, associate member, 1997–2004; Board Special Committee on Corporation Associates, 1990–2001; Graduate Education Advisory Board, 2007–09; Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board, 1994–99

Service in ACS offices:Division of Polymer Chemistry: chair, 2002; chair-elect, 2001; vice chair, 2000; alternate councilor, 1994–99, 1980–81. 25th Northeast Regional Meeting: general chair, 1995. Rochester Section: immediate past-chair, 1983; chair, 1982; chair-elect, 1981; treasurer, 1980–81; member-at-large, 1976–79

Member: Member of ACS since 1970. National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). ACS Divisions: Polymer Chemistry, Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering

Related activities: ACS Project SEED, Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition for Commitment & Outstanding Service, presented in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Project SEED, 2008; 237th ACS National Meeting, “Symposium on Polymers in Electrophotography,” cochair, 2008; Photonics 2005, ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) workshop, coorganizer, Orlando; Xerox, 1973–2002, research fellow, 1996–2002; POLY Millennial, “Field-Responsive Polymers Symposium,” cochair, 2000; 219th ACS National Meeting, Macromolecular Secretariat, “Frontiers in Polymer Science in the 21st Century,” coorganizer, San Francisco, 2000; Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Support to the ACS Scholars Program, 1999; Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Service on the Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board, 1999; POLY Biennial Meeting, cochair, Santa Barbara, Calif., 1996; ACS Corporation Associates symposium “Diversity in the Chemical Workforce of the 21st Century,” cochair, Chicago, 1993; ACS Certificate of Recognition for Leadership of the Rochester Section, winner of the Award for Outstanding Performance by a Local Section, 1983; 53 journal articles; 70 U.S. patents

Smith’s Statement

It is a distinct honor to have been nominated as a candidate for director-at-large of the world’s largest scientific society and the organization chartered by Congress to “foster public welfare and education, aid the development of our country’s industries, and add to the material prosperity and happiness of our people.”

Giving voice to our shared perspectives. It is this call to stewardship that I focus on in my candidate statement. As members of ACS and as a scientific society, we are obligated by our charter to be a force in the current dialogue on climate change, sustainability, and science education. Indeed the society has issued important position statements on “Global Climate Change,” “Sustainability and the Chemical Enterprise,” and “Science Education Policy.” But we must do more! We must be ambassadors for action, conveying the ramifications of global warming with greater urgency and clarity. We must leverage the knowledge, experience, and perspective of the chemistry enterprise to better articulate and exemplify the environmental, social, and economic principles that define sustainability. We must be an even greater resource, at state and national levels, in focusing science education policy. If elected to be a member of the board of directors, I will work tirelessly to give greater voice to our efforts in these areas and join with those who have been working to translate our policy statements into impactful initiatives that improve STEM education, promote ecologically sustainable practices, and communicate the reality of climate change to the American people. As educators, scholars, and professionals in the chemistry enterprise, we are uniquely positioned to speak with authority on these matters.

Diversity. In this year in which we are celebrating the contributions of Henry Hill to ACS and the chemical enterprise, it is important to recognize our community of members and the leadership of ACS for embracing forward-thinking principles of diversity and inclusiveness. Yes, the society also has a “Statement on Diversity.” More important, we have a track record of inclusion of women and minority populations in governance and activities of the society. This being said, there is more to be done. As a member of the board of directors, I would work tirelessly to build on this legacy and engage every constituency in our chemical community and chemical enterprise in the critical initiatives of the society.

Who am I? I am one of those people who, as a child, were given a Gilbert chemistry set. Accordingly, I have been a chemist since the age of 12 and an active member of ACS since 1970, serving in elected and appointed roles at local section, division, and national levels of the society since 1976. By virtue of seven years as a technician and chemist at Lubrizol in Cleveland and 28 years in research at Xerox in Webster, N.Y., in my core, I am an industrial scientist. Moreover, by virtue of 13 years as a member of the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology, I am also an academic scientist and educator. If elected as director-at-large, I may therefore have the experience and background to represent you and bring your perspective to the table.

I would be honored to serve you!

Candidates will not be notified of comments left on this webpage. To contact this candidate directly, e-mail



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.