ACS and AAAS Fellow
Senior Chemists Cmte, Chair
BMGT, Past Chair
Past ACS Insurance Trustee
Service on Budget and Finance, Women Chemists Cmtes
Coblentz Society, Past President
Former ORAU VP University Partnerships, University of Tennessee (UT) Associate VP, NSF PD
ACS has been a major element of my career, and I credit the organization and the opportunity to work with others in ACS for my career success. Yet – many chemists do not choose to engage with ACS. The power of the organization depends upon members and volunteers. Working together, we advance the field of chemistry.
It is critical that we understand our current and potential members, and meet their needs. ACS has been making significant steps in this direction. Resources must be reallocated and applied to areas with potential for high growth. Volunteers must have opportunities for meaningful contribution in areas of personal interest. The society must represent all chemists. The new ACS Strategic Plan goal in support for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect is particularly important as we work together to remove systemic racism in chemistry and tap the potential of our entire community.
As a candidate for one of two Director At-Large positions on the ACS Board of Directors, I will represent the chemistry community. During my 30-year career at the University of Tennessee (UT), I moved from teaching to administration and focused on applied multidisciplinary research. One of my favorite roles at UT was in the technology transfer office, supporting faculty with inventions and spin-off companies. I was privileged to spend two years at the National Science Foundation under an Interagency Program Agreement where I worked with major statewide and multistate grants. I retired from UT as Associate Vice President for Research, and immediately took a position as Vice President for University Partnerships at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is consortium of more than 120 major research universities and a government contractor. Like ACS, ORAU is a not-for-profit large business, and my experience on the ORAU leadership team provides the business understanding and insight needed by members of the ACS Board.
My range of experience in academia, business start-ups, and a government contractor helps me understand the different perspectives of chemists in different work cultures. Within ACS, I have chaired the East Tennessee local section, the Division of Business Development and Management, and the Senior Chemists Committee. ACS members look to their section, divisions, and committees to provide community while addressing their needs and concerns.
My career has been a lot of work, and a tremendous amount of fun. My selection as a Fellow of both ACS and AAAS was very rewarding. I retired in 2020 and have time to invest in ACS. The ACS Strategic Plan is an excellent map, and will move the society in a solid direction. Strategic direction means we will need to measure impact and sunset some activities, which may not be popular. I welcome your comments and questions and would appreciate one of your votes for 2022 Director-at-Large.
Ballots will be distributed by email in late September, 2021
Copyright © 2021 Arlene Garrison ACS Director-at-Large - Photo Credit for Council photo, anonymous. All Rights Reserved.