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For director-at-large: Kenneth P. Fivizzani

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

Credit: Organic Headshots
A photo of Kenneth P. Fivizzani.
Credit: Organic Headshots

Chicago Section. (Retired) Nalco Company, Naperville, Ill.

Academic record: Loyola University Chicago, B.S., chemistry, 1972, and M.S., inorganic chemistry, 1976; University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D., inorganic chemistry, 1981; University of St. Mary of the Lake, S.T.B., theology, 1974.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2011; Distinguished Service Award, ACS Chicago Section, 2016; Chemistry Alumni of the Year Award, Loyola University Chicago, 2012; Tillmanns-Skolnick Award, ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety, 2012; ACS Chemical Health & Safety Fellow, 2004; Nalco Inventors’ Hall of Fame, 1993.

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Nalco Company, research scientist, 2004–09, chemical hygiene officer, 1990–2009; National Registry of Certified Chemists, certified chemical hygiene officer, 1997–2015.

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Community Activities, member, 2013-17, Committee Associate, 2011-12; Committee on Chemical Safety, member, 2002-10, Chair, 2002-04, Committee Associate, 2001; Safety Culture Task Force, 2011-12; Task Force for Safety Education Guidelines, 2014-15; Presidential Task Force on Chemical Hygiene Officer Certification, 1996-97.

Service in ACS offices:Chicago Section: councilor, 2017, 2013–15, 2009–10; trustee, 2011–17; chair, 2010, 2007; chair-elect, 2009, 2006; alternate councilor, 2007–08. Division of Chemical Health & Safety:Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, board of editors, 2000–17, columnist, 2002–15; chair, 2014, 2011, 2000; chair-elect, 2013, 2010, 1999; program cochair, 1996–99.

Member: Member of ACS since 1975; Industrial Research Institute Environmental Health & Safety Directors’ Network, chair, 1999–2001; Sigma Xi, chair of Nalco Chapter, 1988–89; American Industrial Hygiene Association; ACS divisions: Chemical Health & Safety, Inorganic Chemistry.

Related activities: University of California, Berkeley, chemical safety consultant at the College of Chemistry, 2013; National Research Council, Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, 2008–11; National Institute of Standards & Technology Blue Ribbon Commission on Management & Safety (U.S. Secretary of Commerce), 2008, 2010; 48 technical presentations made at ACS national meetings (CHAS, CHED, HIST, I&EC); three presentations at regional meetings; five U.S. patents.

Fivizzani’s statement

I appreciate the opportunity to be a candidate for election as director-at-large. The work of the board of directors is crucial to the mission of ACS. The board deals with routine details that can be found in any professional organization. The board also approves official ACS policy within the society and official statements released to other organizations or groups. As a member of the council who has served in leadership positions in a local section, a technical division, and a governance committee, I appreciate the activities, accomplishments, and challenges of these organizations within ACS. I would be honored to serve both the council and the society as director-at-large. My experience is a starting point for what I would bring to this position. I am eager to contribute more to our society and to learn about any unmet needs our members may have.

Members: Our first obligation is to our membership, both present and future members. Technical journals, C&EN, national and regional meetings, employment services, and career counseling are some of our traditional tools to assist members in developing a successful and enjoyable life as a chemist. Employment trends are moving away from career positions with a single employer. We need to be vigilant in understanding the emerging needs of our membership. National research funding needs to be increased (at the least, maintained) rather than used as a convenient target to solve budgetary problems. Our nation’s leading role as a source of innovative technology is at risk! Too many young and midcareer members are searching for meaningful and satisfying jobs. These are talented and dedicated scientists. Can our continuing education programs provide technical updating about new opportunities and alternative careers in our profession? We could sponsor courses in new areas of science and technology. I would support funding Innovative Project Grants for employment projects. We must continue to publicize career counseling services and job networks available to our members. Local sections, technical divisions, and ACS committees should be active partners with respect to employment opportunities and concerns. Let’s share our successful strategies and employment programs. We should provide assistance to entrepreneurs who want to start new companies. Academic budgets for science programs must be maintained and increased wherever possible. The laboratory experience is an essential component of any chemistry curriculum; we must strongly resist any attempts to eliminate lab courses or rely entirely on electronic media to view lab experiments. Our world’s need for new science and technology is increasing; our colleges and universities provide the individuals who will help meet those needs. Some of these students will make up the future membership of the society. Others will hold positions that may influence the funding and progress of science. Programs that encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to study chemistry must be supported enthusiastically.

Community: We should take every opportunity to explain to those around us who we are and what we do. Chemistry has made a profoundly positive impact on our world. For every perceived problem that results from an unexpected or unwanted reaction or a release of a hazardous material, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of improvements in our world that are the result of new science and technology developed by chemists. Outreach programs such as National Chemistry Week, Chemists Celebrate Earth Week, and Chemistry Ambassadors inform and enlighten the public about our work. Governmental funding agencies and private foundations also need to appreciate our contributions. Act4Chemistry helps us advocate at state and federal levels.

Chemistry as the central science: Science and technology are becoming more interdisciplinary. We understand how chemistry is fundamental to every broadly based development of technology. We should take every opportunity to highlight the innovations in chemistry that lead to new materials, products, and processes. ACS has a history of providing concise descriptions of the uses of common chemicals (e.g., Molecule of the Week, What’s That Stuff?). We could disseminate information about news-making materials used in breakthrough technology. Such information could be used in chemistry classes to emphasize that the science of chemistry remains vital to making our lives better, safer, and happier (i.e., “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry”). Excellence in chemistry that solves problems and creates opportunity is the legacy we want to leave to future generations. I look forward to doing whatever I can to contribute to that legacy.

Thank you for reading about me, and thank you for being a member of ACS.

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