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For director-at-large: Barbara A. Sawrey

September 11, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 36

Credit: Courtesy of Barbara A. Sawrey
A photo of Barbara A. Sawrey.
Credit: Courtesy of Barbara A. Sawrey

San Diego Section. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.

Academic record: Baldwin-Wallace College, B.S., 1973; San Diego State University, M.A., 1982; University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, jointly, Ph.D., 1983.

Honors: Faculty Fellow, Revelle College, 2016; San Diego Magazine Women of the Year, Academic Champion, 2016; ACS Fellow 2011; Pinnacle Award for an Individual in Education, Athena of San Diego, 2011; Partner in International Education Award, University of California, San Diego, 2010; Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, University of California, San Diego, 2004; ACS National Award for Encouraging Women in the Chemical Sciences, 2002; Outstanding Service Award, ACS San Diego Section, 2001; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, San Diego, 1997; Golden Key Honor Society; Iota Sigma Pi; Sigma Xi.

Professional positions (for past 10 years): University of California, San Diego, distinguished teaching professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, 2013–, dean of undergraduate education, 2012–, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, 2007–; faculty member, 1984–, vice chair for education, 1994–2007.

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Professional Training, Leadership Advisory Board, 2007–; Committee on Strategic Planning, 2017; Board of Directors, director-at-large, Council, 1990–present; councilor ex officio and Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, 2012–17; Committee on Professional & Member Relations, chair, 2014–16; Committee on Grants & Awards, 2012; Committee on Nominations & Elections, chair, 2006–08; Council Policy Committee (nonvoting), 2006–08, 2001–03; Committee on Committees, chair, 2001–03, secretary, 1999–2000; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, committee associate, 1991–93; Committee on Education, committee associate, 1992.

Service in ACS offices:San Diego Section: Outstanding Scientist Award Committee, 1996–; councilor, 1990–2012; alternate councilor, 1987–89; Education Committee, chair, 1982–88. Division of Chemical Education: Board of Publications, Journal of Chemical Education, 2003–12; Chemical Education Research Committee, 1997–99; General Chemistry Examining Committee, 1989–97; program chair, ACS spring national meeting, 1994; Program Committee, 1991–94; Long Range Planning Committee, chair, 1989–91.

Member: Member of ACS since 1975; ACS divisions: Chemical Education, Inorganic Chemistry.

Related activities: National Conflict Resolution Center, member of the board of directors, and Gemological Institute of America, member of the board of governors, 2013–; San Diego Foundation, member of the board of governors, 2008–; ACS Leadership Development System, facilitator of Extraordinary Leaders Course, 2007–; U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad, Mentor Search Committee, 1996–, mentor, 1987–89; Science & Technology Working Group, chair, 2006–11; 5th Gordon Research Conference on Innovations in College Chemistry Teaching, chair, 1999; 4th Gordon Research Conference on Innovations in College Chemistry Teaching, vice chair, 1997; International Chemistry Olympiad, vice chair of the scientific board, 1992.

Sawrey’s statement

Thank you for allowing me to serve ACS and my fellow councilors as director-at-large for the past six years. I remain humbled and excited about being a candidate for a third and final term on the board.

During the past three years, there have been many changes at ACS, which means the board has been busy. I am proud of what we have accomplished. ACS has a new CEO, whose selection and onboarding have been important activities of the board. The CEO has made a number of organizational changes in order to streamline processes and to align all aspects of the administration with the society’s mission and vision. Of course, there are always challenges to the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS and Publications (Pubs) Divisions’ positions as leaders in information services to scientists and engineers. Dealing with this is a continuing priority of the board.

It is thanks to CAS and Pubs that our society is able to provide services to our members that go well beyond what our dues alone can afford. We have strong reasons for keeping these business divisions healthy. They serve the international scientific research and development enterprise, and they especially serve our ACS members.

Even with the success of our two information units, we still have limited resources and must make wise decisions about how to spend our money and how best to serve our industrial, academic, and government members. While the board of directors has the ultimate fiduciary responsibility, we work with the council and with our staff officers to be sure we have all the necessary information and input to make critical decisions about our programs and finances.

This would be my final term on the board. Let me highlight some of the characteristics I bring to the position of director. I am able to provide continuity and perspective, having served on, and chaired, a number of council committees, and having been an active councilor since 1990. My board experience includes chairing Professional & Member Relations for three years, serving on Public Affairs & Public Relations and Grants & Awards, and serving as an elected member of the board’s Executive Committee. My work in academics and ACS have helped me develop communication, organization, and facilitator skills that I can use both as a leader and as a team player. I have cotaught the Extraordinary Leader course as part of the ACS Leadership Development System since its inception, and I never fail to learn something each time I teach it.

I am currently a member of the Joint Board-CPC Task Force on Governance Design. The task force is broadly surveying our governance members and considering ways for the society to be agile enough to thrive in an ever more complicated and dynamic world. This, of course, means that the board must look at its own structure, which we are prepared to do.

Important issues that the board and ACS will continue to work on over the next three years include the following:

Advocacy in Washington, D.C., and at the state level for support of environmental and sustainability issues and research funding for all science and engineering. The value of science to help solve the earth’s problems cannot be overstated, and we must continue to educate our lawmakers and to collaborate with our sister societies to be sure scientific information is conveyed accurately and used wisely. The newly formed Chemistry Caucus in the U.S. Congress is one avenue to achieving this goal.

Keeping Pubs and CAS strong and at the forefront of global information services is vital to the society. These units serve the sciences worldwide and provide ACS the opportunity to serve our members in all stages of their education and careers.

Growing the society membership inside and outside the U.S. About one-fourth of our members are students, who we hope will find good reasons to remain members once they leave school. And we have 19 International Chemical Sciences chapters. As these numbers grow, there is still much to work out with respect to equitable dues structures and involvement in governance.

Diversity, safety, and ethics. It is not enough to list these as core values of the society. We must live them every day, in all that we do, and incorporate them in our governance and programs.

Thank you for reading this statement. I am proud to have served on the board thus far, and if elected, I look forward to hearing from you about ways to serve better.


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