Mary K. Engelman is the recipient of the 2021 Award for Volunteer Service from the American Chemical Society(ACS publishes C&EN). Created in 2001, the award recognizes individuals who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and have contributed significantly to ACS’s goals and objectives.
Engelman is being honored for her efforts in increasing public awareness of chemistry, mentorship of young scientists, and leadership of society activities. She retired in 2019 from her position as an innovation process manager at Eastman Chemical Company.
“I am quite humbled,” says Engelman of receiving the award. “It’s hard to explain why you volunteer. It really is because it’s a passion inside you, that you just like to help people and you like to help organizations. I have learned so much through my volunteer efforts. It has helped me be part of a professional organization and help build a pathway into the future of ACS.”
Engelman has served numerous roles within ACS, including as an ACS Career Consultant, chair of the ACS Northeast Tennessee Local Section, vice chair of the ACS Committee on Nominations & Elections, and a councilor for the ACS Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Division. As chair of the ACS Committee for Technician Affairs, she championed for and helped raise the visibility of applied chemical technology professionals in the chemistry field. She was named an ACS Fellow in 2009. At Eastman, Engelman was awarded 8 patents and authored numerous publications on chemical technology and innovation.
“Volunteers are, indeed, a special group of individuals,” says D. Richard Cobb, who won the 2017 Award for Volunteer Service and has worked with Engelman on many committees and divisions. “Mary exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism through her efforts to increase public awareness of chemistry and to promote science to students of all ages.”
“It is difficult to quantify the multitude of ways the ACS has benefitted from Mary’s involvement at every level,” says Dawn Mason of Eastman, who has volunteered with Engelman at the local, regional, and national levels. “Mary has provided leadership wherever she has served and done so willingly, and she has become a role model for others who want to be active in their professional society.”
Engelman will deliver the keynote address at the ChemLuminary Awards ceremony during the 2021 fall ACS National Meeting in Atlanta.