CCPA Roster

The members of the Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs are as follows:

Member Bios

Dr. Kevin Kuhn, Chair

Kevin has worked in the federal government since 2010, using his technical expertise to support research and development and to inform policy makers on scientific issues. He has held a variety of positions, including special assistant to EPA's Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, Congressional Liaison in EPA's Office of Congressional Affairs, and Science Advisor to the EPA Office of Research and Development innovation team.

Before joining the federal government, Kevin completed fellowships at the National Academies of Science and at the American Chemical Society, working in government affairs, chemical policy and budget analysis. He earned his PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology where his research centered on chemical catalysis and process efficiency. Kevin and his wife live in Virginia with their two children and a giant dog. He loves drinking coffee and talking politics.

Dr. Luke E.K. Achenie, Associate (2020)

Dr. Luke E.K. Achenie earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his M.S. in Engineering Science at Northwestern University, an MS in Applied Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon and his Ph.D. (1988) in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. After earning his doctorate, he worked for Shell Development Company of Houston, TX as an Associate Research Engineer from 1988-1991. Dr. Achenie joined the University of Connecticut as a faculty member in 1991 in the Chemical Engineering department. He was also the Director of the School of Engineering Computing Services from 2004 to 2007.  In 2007, he joined Virginia Tech as a Professor in the Chemical Engineering department. He is an affiliated faculty member of the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (Virginia Tech/Wake Forest University). He is also (by courtesy) Professor of Health Sciences at Virginia Tech.  Dr. Achenie has served as the Program Director for the PRE Program within the CBET Division at the National Science Foundation. In ACS he has held a number of positions, including Chair of MPPG, Alternate Councilor (COMP Division) and member of CPRC. Dr. Achenie’s work includes molecular modeling (MD/DFT), multi-scale modeling, machine learning, uncertainty analysis and agent-based based computing.  He is a co-editor of the book “Computer Aided Molecular Design: Theory and Practice,” and has also written 14 book chapters. 

Dr. Judith Benham, Consultant (2021)

Judith L. Benham, Ph.D., has served as Chair of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on International Activities (IAC) (2010-2012), Chair of the ACS Board of Directors (2007-09), and as a member of the ACS Board of Directors (2004-09).  A member of ACS since 1969, Benham has been active in Society business, serving on numerous committees and as chair of the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry.  In recognition of her many contributions, she was named ACS Fellow in 2010. Her current activities focus on globalization and STEM education. Judy is currently Co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists), which works to advance science and technology in the US by providing financial awards to academically outstanding US citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering, and medical research.

Judith is retired from her position as RFID Business Director in the 3M Industrial Services & Solutions Division.  Her nearly 30-year career included chemical research, research management, and business management in multiple divisions, with professional expertise that encompasses R&D and operations management, strategic & technical planning, and change management.

Judith received her BA in chemistry from the University of Rochester, and her Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Stephen Benn, Consultant (2021)

Stephen Benn is a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds and spent his first birthday in Hyde Park, Cincinnati.  He currently works with the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Government in London supporting 15 scientific societies including the Royal Society of Chemistry on behalf of science.  In this capacity, he once successfully persuaded the United Kingdom’s House of Commons to allow live chemistry experiments in honour of the International Year of Chemistry in 2011.  Dr Benn also has experience lobbying the United States Congress and once worked as an Assistant to a United States senator.

Dr. Susan Butts, Member (2020-2022)

Susan Butts is an active member of the science and technology policy community following her 31-year career in the chemical industry and related organizations.  Currently she is President of Susan B. Butts Consulting. Previously she served as the president of the Council for Chemical Research (CCR). Before joining CCR, she worked for The Dow Chemical Company for three decades in various positions in the Research and Development (R&D) organization.  From 2001-2009, she served as Director of External Technology and later as Senior Director of External Science & Technology Programs.  In that capacity she was responsible for Dow’s sponsored research programs at over 150 universities, institutes, and national laboratories worldwide and for Dow’s contract research activities with U.S. and European government agencies. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the NSF SBIR/STTR Programs and a member of the board of directors of the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America.  She is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and of American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as a member of Sigma Xi. Susan also serves chair of the ACS Development Advisory Board and as a consultant to the ACS Committee on Corporation Associates.

Susan holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University.  Before joining the External Technology group, Dr. Butts held several other positions at Dow including Senior Resource Leader for Atomic Spectroscopy and Inorganic Analysis within the Analytical Sciences Laboratory, Manager of Ph.D. Hiring and Placement, Safety and Regulatory Affairs Manager for Central Research, and Principal Investigator on various catalysis research projects in Central Research.

Dr. Bonnie Charpentier, Consultant (2021)

Bonnie Charpentier served as President of the American Chemical Society in 2019. She previously served on the ACS board of directors, including as the Chair of the Board.  She has served on and chaired a variety of Society committees and task forces at national levels, as well as being active in local sections, divisions and regional meetings. At the local level, she has been instrumental in establishing chemistry workshops for teachers, workshops on interviewing skills for students, and an outreach program for hands-on chemistry with children in homeless shelters.

She is currently Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Compliance at Cytokinetics, Inc., in South San Francisco, California, a company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics that modulate muscle function. Prior to Cytokinetics, Bonnie worked in drug research and development at other companies, including Syntex and Roche, and as an analytical chemist at the Procter and Gamble Co. She holds a B.S. degree in anthropology and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology.

In her ACS work, Bonnie has emphasized the importance of communicating the value of chemistry through public outreach and education. She is a strong advocate for ACS programs that increase the effectiveness of ACS's legislative advocacy through member involvement, and for increasing effective collaboration within ACS, and between ACS and other professional societies. The overarching theme of her presidency was collaboration, with focus on Advocacy and Safety and the Environment.  She is passionate about the importance of public service, and about turning molecules into medicines.

Dr. Eun-Woo Chang, Member (2018-2020)

Eun-Woo Chang is an education consultant and CEO of Educom, LLC. Recently, he served as Provost at Ashland University (AU) in Ohio from Spring of 2016 to Fall 2018. Prior to his appointment at AU, Chang served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey from 2014-2016, Dean of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics at Montgomery College in Maryland from 2011-2014, and as a program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation from 2008-2011. He has also served as a tenured professor of Chemistry at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada for 17 years, where he was chair of the Physical Science Department, Faculty Senate chair, and a member of several college-wide and statewide leadership committees.

In 2004, Dr. Chang spent a year at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) as a member of the 2004-2005 class of American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows, a prestigious leadership cohort selected by ACE. In addition, he served as Interim Dean of Mathematics and Sciences during the 2005-2006 academic year at CSN. In 2010, he was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, which is the largest scientific society in the US, for his dedicated service as the chair of a local section and a member of the International Activities Committee and the Chemistry and Public Affairs  Committee. Dr. Chang has also served on advisory boards, such as the Ohio Health Governance Advisory Board and the Trenton Public Education Foundation Board, for regional communities.

Dr. Chang earned a B.S. in Chemistry in South Korea, an M.A. in Chemistry from Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. After receiving his doctorate degree, he became a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University.

Dr. Deborah H. Cook, Associate (2020)

Dr. Deborah Cook has worked at all levels of education from K-16 as well as in informal science education settings. After teaching high school mathematics and science, she transitioned to school administration and then to the New Jersey Department of Education where she was the science coordinator for the state, in charge of the development and adoption of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.  She was then recruited by Rutgers University to direct the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative (NJ SSI), a National Science Foundation (NSF) and State-funded project to reform mathematics, science and technology education statewide.  The NJ SSI partnership with several state colleges, business and industry influenced state educational policy for STEM and provided professional development, technical assistance, and support for most of New Jersey’s 600+ school districts. More recently, she has worked as a consultant for the Trenton Public Schools, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and as an Adjunct Professor at Rider University and at Temple University.

Dr. Cook serves on many advisory boards and is very active with the American Chemical Society where she has held leadership positions and served on many committees and task forces, including the Society Committee on Education and a task force to revise ACS Guidelines and Recommendations for Middle and High School Chemistry. She has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees in science education from Temple University.  She has several publications and has been recognized for her work and service with many awards.

Dr. Louise J. Criscenti, Associate (2020)

Louise J. Criscenti is a geochemist with over 30 years of experience modeling reaction phenomena in aqueous systems, and the fate and transport of organic and inorganic contaminants in the environment.  She has been an active member in the ACS Geochemistry Division serving as Membership Chair from 2005-2006 and 2011-2012; Secretary from 2006-2008 and 2012-2014; and Alternate Councilor from 2017-2019. In addition, she has chaired over 10 ACS symposia within the division. She has experience working at two national laboratories: Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington and now Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Her research has involved the use of models at several scales including ab initio quantum calculations, classical molecular dynamics simulations, and field-scale reactive-transport modeling.  For over 15 years, her research has focused on using different molecular modeling tools, including classical force field and ab initio techniques, to understand processes at the mineral- or material-water interface such as contaminant adsorption to oxide surfaces, electric double layer formation, nuclear waste glass dissolution, and coupled chemical-mechanical effects on fracture formation.  Other systems she has investigated at the molecular scale specifically for projects on CO2 sequestration and gas shale production are the interface between aqueous brines and supercritical CO2; and methane migration through mesoporous kerogen.  Dr. Criscenti’s education includes a B.S. in Geology from Brown University, M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.  

Dr. A. Jay Dias, Member (2020-2021)

Anthony "Jay" Dias received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Kean College in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1986. Since then he has worked for the ExxonMobil Chemical Company holding a number of positions in both research and management. Jay currently holds the position of Chief Scientist. His research has focused on polymer blends, networks, simulation, nanocomposites, polymer surfaces and interfaces, the control of polymer topology, and the application of this research to develop new polymer products. His research has resulted in over 25 publications and 50 US patents.

Jay has been a member of ACS since 1982 and an active member in three divisions including PMSE, POLY and RUBBER where he often organized and chaired symposia. He has served the PMSE division in several capacities; ranging from Technical Program Committee in 1998 through division Chair in 2004.  Since that time Jay has served as the Chair of Symposium Funding and is currently ACS PMSE Councilor (2014 – present). Jay became an ACS Fellow in 2015 and a PMSE Fellow in 2018.

Jay first participated in ACS government affairs activities back in 2004. He participated in a number of Congressional Visit Days, Local District Days and ACS-sponsored ‘fly-ins’.  Since that time, Jay has remained an advocate for increased federal funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Dr. Michael Hurrey, Member (2019-2021)

Mick lives outside San Francisco with his wife Susie and his three kids and enjoys playing football (soccer) and cooking gourmet food. He currently works as Vice President of Product Development at InCarda Therapeutics based in Newark, CA, working to launch a drug/device combination therapy for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Prior to InCarda, he helped SteadyMed submit a market application for a steady state infusion pump for pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as launch Harvoni at Gilead Sciences, a cure for hepatitis C and a blockbuster drug. Before moving to California, Dr. Hurrey worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston and helped gain approval for Incivek and Kalydeco, treatments for hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis.

Mick earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Over his career, Mick has earned numerous awards for outstanding contributions both at his employer and for external organizations such as the ACS and IUPAC. Dr. Hurrey, has organized several conferences and symposia, given lectures and interviews, published peer reviewed articles, and has 7 patents. He has served as Chair of both a technical division and a committee at the American Chemical Society as well as serving on several taskforces. Mick was selected as an ACS Fellow in 2016. He was also elected as Selectman for the Town of Maynard, MA in 2012 before moving to California in 2013 for family reasons.

Dr. Zafra Lerman, Member (2018-2020)

Zafra Lerman is a chemist, educator, and humanitarian. She holds a PhD in chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and conducted research on isotope effects at Cornell and Northwestern Universities in the US, and the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. She developed an innovative approach of teaching science using art, music, dance, drama, rap and cultural backgrounds. These methods proved to be extremely successful around the world and received international recognition.

From 1986 to 2011, she chaired the ACS Subcommittee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights. She worked on human rights cases in the former Soviet Union, Russia, China, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, South Africa, Iran, preventing executions, releasing prisoners of conscience from jail and freeing dissidents. Since 1987 she has served as a Vice Chair for Chemistry of the Board of the Committee of Concerned Scientists (CCS). She is the President of the Malta Conferences Foundation which brings together scientists from 15 Middle East countries, Morocco, and Pakistan with Nobel Laureates to work for 5 days on solving regional problems, establishing cross-border collaborations, and forging relationships that bridge chasms of distrust and intolerance.

Dr. Lerman has received over 40 international awards for her work, including: Presidential Award from President Clinton, APS Andrei Sakharov Award for human rights, AAAS Science Diplomacy Award ACS Parsons Award for outstanding public service to society through chemistry, UN NOVUS Summit award for Peace and Justice, and the Distinguished Woman in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award from IUPAC.  She was nominated in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 for the Nobel Peace Prize by a member of the US Congress and a member of the French parliament.

Dr. Emily A. Lewis, Member (2020-2022)

Emily Lewis O’Brien is a Senior Consultant at VEIC, specializing in beneficial electrification of buildings and transportation with a focus on the low- to moderate-income market. She has a broad background in state and federal energy policy development, data-driven clean-energy advocacy, and scientific research on the chemistry of energy technologies. She has analyzed and advanced policies on upstream energy resource extraction, electricity generation, and consumer end uses. Before she joined VEIC, Emily led the electrification initiative and analysis team at Acadia Center, a clean energy research and advocacy organization. Emily also served as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy and as an American Chemical Society Congressional Fellow on the democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee. Emily conducted her PhD research at Tufts University on catalysts for gas-to-liquid technologies. At Northeastern University, her MS and BS research investigated fuel cell catalysts.

Dr. Michael A. Meador, Associate (2020)

Michael A. Meador received a B.A. in chemistry from Ithaca College (1978) and the PhD in organic chemistry from Michigan State University (1983).  He recently retired after a 35+ year career in the Federal government during which he held a variety of positions including Chief of the NASA Glenn Polymers Branch (1988-2011),  Manager of the NASA Game Changing Development Program’s Nanotechnology Project (2011-2014), and Program Element Manager for Lightweight Materials and Manufacturing (2016-2019).  From 2014-2016 he served as Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office in the WH Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Throughout his career he has been involved in various aspects of R&D planning, including leading a NASA-wide team that developed NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap – a 25+ year plan for the development of high impact nanoscale materials and devices and their application in NASA missions.   Meador has been active in the ACS for a number of years, including as Member-at-Large of the Polymer Chemistry Division (POLY), as a symposium and workshop organizer, and Thematic Programming Co-chair for the ACS Spring 2019 National Meeting.  He currently serves as POLY’s Chair.  He is the recipient of several NASA awards including the NASA Medal for Equal Opportunity, NASA Medal for Exceptional Service, and the inaugural Space Technology Technical Achievement Award.  Meador is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. James Moran, Member (2018-2020)

Jim Moran is originally from upstate New York and received his B.A. (chemistry and geology) from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  His Ph.D. work (Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University) was extremely interdisciplinary in nature and laid the framework for continued interest in science at the interface of traditional disciplines.  Jim’s post-doctoral experience (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario) focused on deep subsurface processes and led to some interesting field work up to 10,000 feet below the Earth’s surface in northern Canada.  Jim started his current position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2009 and his primary research focus is on the use of light isotope (both stable (2H, 13C, 15N, 18O), and active (3H)) measurements in support of a variety of forensic, environmental, ecological, and microbial ecology applications.  This has enabled him to participate in a wide variety of scientific studies including exploring microbial processes within hydrothermal systems at Yellowstone National park, fingerprinting toxic industrial chemical, evaluating the nutritional status of herring in Prince William Sound, and tracking groundwater contaminant plumes through the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington.  Most recently, Jim is using similar isotope approaches to better understand the spatial controls of biogeochemical processes that regulate nutrient exchange between soil and plants.  

Dr. Barbara E. Moriarty, Associate (2020)

Barbara Moriarty currently lives outside of Chicago, close to the Wisconsin state line.  She received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota.  Barbara developed water treatment technology at Nalco and Global Green Products, a small start-up company in the Chicago area.  Barbara currently teaches General Chemistry for the College of Lake County.  An active ACS volunteer, Barbara has held a number of leadership positions in the Chicago Local Section and the Division of Professional Relations (PROF).  Through her work as chair of the Chicago Section Public Affairs Committee, she has met with a multiple members of Congress, including U.S. Representatives Bill Foster (IL-11-D) and Danny Davis (IL-7-D).  Barbara has served on the ACS Committee on Science (COMSCI), and the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) where she has helped draft a number of policy statements.  She is interested in sustainable and green chemistry, and has done public outreach chemistry demonstrations events for the past few years.

Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen, Associate (2021)

Mary Jo Ondrechen, PhD is a scientist, educator, researcher, and activist. She serves as Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and as the Principal Investigator of the Computational Biology Research Group at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research deals with understanding enzyme catalysis, genomics, predicting the function of proteins, protein design, and the computational aspects of drug discovery. Some of her current research projects include using machine learning methods to understand genomes, evaluating the protein structures of SARS-CoV-2 (the viral pathogen that causes COVID-19), and seeking drug-like molecules that can inhibit the viral life cycle of SARS-CoV-2. She was previously President of the Board of Directors of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB). She has recently served on the Board of Advisers of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, where she advocated for new technologies for environmental clean-up and for the inclusion of affected citizens and tribes in environmental decision making. She was also the 2011-2013 Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). She is a co-Principal Investigator on the 2014-2024 project “Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM,” an initiative to provide guidance and support to Native STEM students who want to become faculty members at colleges, universities, and tribal colleges. The Northeastern University Skills and Capacity for Inclusion (NU-SCI) project, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is spearheading institutional change to make the natural science majors more welcoming of minority and first-generation college students; this project is directed by Professor Ondrechen. 

Dr. Laura Pence, Consultant (2021)

Dr. Laura Pence is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hartford with expertise in environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and chemical education.  In 2012-2013 Dr. Pence spent a year as an American Chemical Society (ACS)/American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Science Policy Fellow in the office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), where her policy portfolio featured natural resources, energy, and environmental issues, with a particular emphasis in the areas of water and forestry. She served on the ACS Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and has chaired the both Committees on Environmental Improvement (CEI) and Public Affairs and Public Relations.  Dr. Pence is an outstanding educator, winning the University of Hartford’s Roy E. Larsen award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006 and twice ranking among the top 25 professors nationally on in both 2014 and 2017.  Prof. Pence received her B.S. in chemistry from Lebanon Valley College and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Subsequently, she was a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2011 for her programming and leadership on environmental and sustainability issues.

Dr. Amy Ripka, Member (2020-2022)

Dr. Amy Ripka has 20 years of drug discovery expertise spanning big pharma to CRO leadership positions. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amy was part of the teams that discovered and developed Asunaprevir and Daclatasvir, for the treatment of Hepatitis C.  Later as Head of Chemistry at EnVivo/FORUM, Amy led the discovery and development of their PDE10 inhibitor to the clinic. Amy has cross-functional experience leading teams at several notable Boston biotechs and has served on Executive Teams at two CROs, SAI Life Sciences and WuXiAppTec. There her role was to advise and guide clients through preclinical drug discovery to IND planning and engagement of institutional investors/foundations.  Recently, Amy founded Lucy Therapeutics, a Boston biotech focused on improving mitochondrial respiration for treatment of Rett Syndrome.  Amy chaired the Medicinal Chemistry Gordon Conference in 2012 and has been on the ACS MEDI Executive Committee for 6 years.  She has served on SABs of national/international meetings and is currently a SAB member of Rheostat Therapeutics.

Dr. Peter F. Rusch, Associate (2020)

Peter Rusch received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Following graduation, he embarked on his first postdoc as part of the National Science Foundation - Centre Nationale de la Reserche Scientifique U.S.-France Postdoctoral Scientific Exchange Fellowship. This began his long-time interest in many things French. After a brief second postdoctoral research and teaching assignment, he was in the period of very few jobs for chemists. Fortunately, he spent much of his time learning how to apply computers to chemistry.

After a two-and-a-half year stay at Chemical Abstracts Service in Columbus, Ohio, he began work in a newly formed project at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Palo Alto, California, DIALOG Information Services. Rising to the level of vice-president, he was responsible for the chemical and patent information services. He was an independent consultant in matters of computer-based information and search until his retirement.

He is a 50-year ACS member. He served the ACS as Chair of the Division of Chemical Information, Chair of the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols, and Chair of the Santa Clara Valley local section. He has also served as Councilor and Alternate Councilor. He is an ACS Fellow and a recipient of the Ottenberg and Radding awards. He is a member of the Society of the Sigma Xi and a Trustee of the Chemical Structure Association Trust. He has been on the Advisory Board, Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Science and a Director, Documentation Abstracts Inc. He has numerous publications and presentations on chemical information.

Dr. Joseph E. Sabol, Member (2019-2021)

Joe Sabol is a consultant to the chemical, semiconductor, polymer, and related industries, specializing in technical and business development services. Sabol grew up on an apple farm in Racine County, Wisconsin, and received a B.S. in chemistry from Carroll College (now Carroll University, Wisconsin) and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater). After a postdoc in chemical engineering at University of Minnesota, Sabol taught analytical, physical, and environmental chemistry and studied the transport, magnetic, and crystallographic properties of transition metal oxides, variants of Fe3O4. Sabol joined ACS in 1976 and currently is Division of Small Chemical Businesses Program Chair (2008-present) and Councilor (2016-2021), Upper Peninsula Local Section Treasurer (2008-present), and Great Lakes Region Board Member (2011-present) and Treasurer (2019-2022). In 2003 Sabol was appointed to Marquette County [MI] Local Emergency Planning Committee and has been Chair since 2017.

Dr. Robert D. Sindelar, Associate (2020)

Dr. Sindelar is a Professor and Dean Emeritus, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia (UBC).  Dr. Sindelar is also an elected fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and elected fellow of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), and Member of the External Advisory Board, Trinity College Dublin, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  In addition, Robert Sindelar was appointed Vice President of Innovation, Research & Academic Affairs at Providence Health Care, President of the Providence Health Care Research Institute and Associate Dean Research in the UBC Faculty of Medicine (2013-2016).

Dr. Sindelar completed a M.S. degree in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products in 1980 at the University of Iowa School of Pharmacy. His research expertise is in medicinal chemistry, computer-aided drug discovery, and pharmaceutical biotechnology. His research on the immune system and related diseases resulted in approximately $14 million in extramural funding, 60+ journal articles, six U.S. patents, several international patents, and over 125 invited presentations. Dr. Sindelar is the recipient of several School and University-wide teaching honors.  Dr. Sindelar has co-edited 5 editions of the highly successful textbook entitled “Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: Fundamentals and Applications.”

Dr. Jozef Stec, Member (2018-2020)

Jozef Stec is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Pharmacy. Prior to his current position, Dr. Stec was an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy. He obtained degrees and training in Molecular and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (M.Sc. with Honors, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland); Organic and Organometallic Chemistry (Ph.D., University of Southampton, England, U.K.); and Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA).

Jozef’s research interests are in the field of widely understood synthetic organic and modern medicinal chemistry. He uses the tools of rational drug design to discover novel classes of inhibitors for various essential enzymes. His research findings were published in several international peer-reviewed journals.

Throughout his academic career, Jozef has taught the principles of organic and medicinal chemistry, and has mentored and advised students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His passion for teaching was recognized by multiple awards and recognitions, including Teacher of the Year Award.

As a member of various committees, Jozef is involved in College- and University-wide service activities. At the national and international level, Jozef is a reviewer of journal manuscripts, symposium and grant proposals. In addition to ACS, Jozef is also an active member of various professional associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Dr. Hessy L. Taft, Associate (2020)

Hessy L Taft has a BA from Barnard College and a graduate degree in Chemistry from Columbia University. She spent the first 30 years of her career at Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ where she had primary responsibility for the College Board Chemistry and Biology SAT Subject Tests and AP Chemistry. In 2000, Hessy joined the department of Chemistry at St John’s University, retiring in 2016. For the past 20 years, Hessy’s interests have focused on water sustainability, environmental consequences incurred, and their impact on public policy. She has published widely: recent examples include book chapters in “Food, Energy, and Water” (Elsevier2015) and “Water Challenges and Solutions on the Global Stage” (ACS Symposium Series, Oxford University Press 2015). She is active on both the national and international stage, including the filming of a video entitled “The Global Water Crisis” for the ACS office of Public Affairs in 2013. She was invited to speak at international congresses in Moscow (2007), Havana (2001, 2004,2006), Salvador (Brazil), Torino, Nuremberg, Sevilla (for EuChems), with Women is Science delegation to China (1999). She has organized symposia for IUPAC ( national committee for US National Academy of Sciences) in Puerto Rico (2008) and Istanbul(2013), as well as given numerous presentations and organized symposia  throughout the USA.

Dr. Heidi Vollmer-Snarr, Member (2019-2021)

Heidi R. Vollmer-Snarr is the Director of Advanced Undergraduate Laboratories at Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. She has authored an organic textbook, Organic Chemistry with Biological Topics. Heidi was a Chemistry Lecturer at Stanford and an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Brigham Young University. Her research involved retinoid chemistry in the development of a targeted and triggered drug delivery system for cancer therapy and mechanistic studies of age-related macular degeneration. To this end, she has served on the Small Business Sensory Technologies and Visual Systems National Institutes of Health Study Sections. Heidi was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Utah, where she taught organic chemistry. Heidi was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. She completed her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Oxford University and her B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in German at the University of Utah, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies.

Heidi has served on CCPA on the Member Advocacy Subcommittee since 2016. She supports Act4Chemistry and is interested in influencing federal funding and policy decisions in the chemical sciences, research, and education. She also served as an alternate councilor in the Santa Clara Valley section of the ACS. She is engaged in outreach activities, including chemistry magic shows for the community, schools, and scouting groups. She is passionate about chemistry and strives to find ways to help others recognize the importance of chemistry in their everyday lives.

Dr. Jonathan Wilker, Member (2019-2021)

Jonathan is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University and by courtesy, a Professor in the Purdue University School of Materials Engineering.  He grew up in the Boston area and was often taken to the beach by his parents.  Now at Purdue, his research program focuses on materials produced by marine organisms.  A particular focus is the adhesives and cements produced by mussels and oysters for sticking to rocks.  Ongoing efforts include characterization of these marine biological materials, developing synthetic polymer mimics, and designing applications for these new materials.  Projects are often inspired by what is seen while out scuba diving.

Dr. Matthew Windsor, Member (2019-2021)

Matt Windsor is the media & communications manager at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). He oversees: daily member communications (e.g., emails); the press conferences at the SfN annual meeting; and advocacy communications, most commonly in the form of op-eds and statements, promoting the value of basic and animal research. Previously, he worked in a similar role at another scientific professional society, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). 

Matt strongly believes in the mission of professional societies, because he never would have been able to transition from the lab to the science communications world if not for ACS. He discovered his passion for science communications as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, and developed his communication resume by joining the ACS Tennessee Government Affairs Committee (TNGAC) in 2011. He earned his PhD in organic chemistry from U. Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, and a BA in chemistry from Boston University in 2005.

Dr. Donald J. Wink, Member (2020-2022)

Donald J. Wink has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). He has been at UIC since 1992. He is also a program faculty member in Learning Sciences. In undergraduate chemical education he has materials development projects that emphasize inter-departmental instruction.  He has also been very active on issues of teaching in K-12 settings, including on projects for curriculum and teacher professional development. At UIC, he has also served UIC as Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies (Chemistry), Director of Graduate Studies (Learning Sciences), Academic Chair of UIC Global, and as a member of the Education Policy Committee in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is the Presiding Officer of the UIC Faculty Senate and a member of its Executive Committee. Within ACS he has served as Secretary, Councilor, and Chair for the Division of Chemical Education, and also was a member and Chair of its Board of Publication. He also served Member and Chair of Subcommittee on Higher Education, American Chemical Society Committee on Education. This work involved advising and setting policy and work for the ACS’ Education Division. It includes co-chairing of the ACS’s General Chemistry Performance Expectations task force and workshops and the advisory board of the New Faculty Workshops program. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Chemical Education.


Dr. Stephen Benn

Stephen Benn is a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds and spent his first birthday in Hyde Park, Cincinnati.  He currently works with the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Government in London supporting 15 scientific societies including the Royal Society of Chemistry on behalf of science.  In this capacity, he once successfully persuaded the United Kingdom’s House of Commons to allow live chemistry experiments in honour of the International Year of Chemistry in 2011.  Dr Benn also has experience lobbying the United States Congress and once worked as an Assistant to a United States senator.

Dr. Laura Pence

Dr. Laura Pence is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hartford with expertise in environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and chemical education.  In 2012-2013 Dr. Pence spent a year as an American Chemical Society (ACS)/American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Science Policy Fellow in the office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), where her policy portfolio featured natural resources, energy, and environmental issues, with a particular emphasis in the areas of water and forestry. She served on the ACS Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and has chaired the both Committees on Environmental Improvement (CEI) and Public Affairs and Public Relations.  Dr. Pence is an outstanding educator, winning the University of Hartford’s Roy E. Larsen award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006 and twice ranking among the top 25 professors nationally on in both 2014 and 2017.  Prof. Pence received her B.S. in chemistry from Lebanon Valley College and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Subsequently, she was a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2011 for her programming and leadership on environmental and sustainability issues.