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H. N. Cheng Wins Volunteer Service Award

Passionate volunteerism defines research chemist’s leadership in the American Chemical Society

by Linda Wang
June 16, 2015

Credit: H. N. Cheng
Photo of H. N. Cheng.
Credit: H. N. Cheng

H.N. Cheng, a USDA research chemist in New Orleans, is the winner of the 2016 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society for his leadership within ACS governance and other contributions to the society.

“I feel honored and humbled,” Cheng says of receiving the award.

Cheng has held a seemingly endless list of volunteer roles within ACS, from organizing symposia and editing symposia books to facilitating ACS Leadership Development courses. He has chaired his local sections (both the Delaware and Louisiana Sections) as well as presidential task forces and has served as a councilor for the Polymer Chemistry Division and the ACS Delaware Section. He currently chairs the ACS International Activities Committee (IAC), a position he’s held since 2013.

Cheng works at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service’s Southern Regional Research Center.

“H. N. is truly deserving of this honor,” says Ellene Tratras Contis, a chemistry professor at Eastern Michigan University and a member of IAC. “He works tirelessly for ACS and especially for the International Activities Committee, where he has implemented new strategies for forward progress and has built bridges between the IAC and other ACS entities. You can just feel his energy, which gets others to volunteer as well.”

Cheng says that volunteering comes naturally to him. “I have always been interested in people, culture, and history. And at ACS, there are many opportunities to meet people with different backgrounds and to work with them,” he says.

Cheng earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining USDA, he was a senior research fellow at Hercules in Wilmington, Del.

Cheng will be honored at the 2016 spring ACS national meeting in San Diego and will present an address at the 2016 ChemLuminary Awards at the fall national meeting in Philadelphia.



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