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Who SEED Inspires

Project SEED coordinator Irene McGee of Covestro (left) with SEED alumnus Brian Foster and ACS President Peter Dorhout during the 50 Forward reception in New Orleans.

“A business imperative in the chemical industry today is attracting more STEM talent, and if we are going to do that, we also have to attract more women and underrepresented minorities into STEM fields. Project SEED hits all those marks. Eighty eight percent of the students who went through Project SEED in 2017 say that because of their experience, they are interested in going on to college, and almost 70% of the 411 students say they are interested in a career in science. So, Project SEED is getting results. Project SEED is bringing more people to STEM education and it also tapping into the underrepresented demographic that we need to bring to the table.”   

--Irene McGee, who leads Health Safety, Environment and Quality Management in North America at Covestro in Pittsburgh 


Erin Moore, Idaho
“This project taught me what life is like in a lab doing research. It will help me in the future to determine what career path I wish to go down. My lab mates taught me how to use the basic equipment and all the chemistry I did not understand. This project helped me not just as a student but as a person, I truly have to thank this program.”

Yenifer Gil, Tex.
“Project SEED is an amazing program, it allowed me to get familiar with an environment I had always envisioned myself in. I loved being allowed to participate as a fellow in this program. I came in as a sprout and now I leave like a blossoming flower. Thank you!”

Cesar Romero, Mass.
“Project SEED is one of the best experiences I have had in learning and in branching out my interest of pursuing science as a major in the future. The relationship created with other people, the constant learning being done, and the overall achievement of making everyone feel equal, regardless of financial background is the highlight of accomplishment done by Project SEED. The past two summers could not have been better without Project SEED.”

Precious Breeland, S.C.
“I really enjoyed my summer at USC. By doing hands on work, it really gave me a better understanding of chemistry. By being a part of this program it made me think about considering chemistry as my major. I am more than grateful for the experience.”

Asialyn Lee, Calif.
“Thank you for this program; we need more of these kinds of programs! It has truly changed my life for the better. I would love to eventually contribute back to this program when I am older.”

Salimata Konate, N.Y.
“The ACS Project SEED really broadened my perspective on the careers I can pursue in life. The environment I was placed in made me feel as though there was nothing I couldn't conquer! The summer definitely inspired me to pursue a career in biological and life sciences.”

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Anderson was a longtime SEED supporter

Before his passing in November 2018, Laurens “Andy” Anderson, 98, emeritus professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was a strong, longtime supporter of ACS Project SEED. An ACS member for 72 years, Anderson drew parallels between the program--which provides economically disadvantaged high school students the opportunity to explore science alongside a dedicated mentor--and his own early experiences that sparked his passion for chemistry.

Anderson went on to carve out a 40-year career as a world-renowned carbohydrate chemistry expert. Anderson traced his first interest in chemistry back to 1930, when as a 10-year-old, he read labels on cans of sodium hydroxide (lye) used for soap making at the local general store in Recluse, Wyoming. After being sent to live with his aunt and uncle in South Dakota to further his education, he received mentoring from a science teacher that fueled his interest in the central science. Graduating from high school at age 15, Anderson earned a teaching certificate, taught at a country school, and saved enough money to enroll at the University of Wyoming. 

In 1942, Anderson earned his B.S. in chemistry and a commission as 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After training in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he flew a B-24 Liberator out of Italy during World War II. Following an honorable discharge in 1945, he married his wife, Doris, and earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1951.

Anderson synthesized carbohydrate molecules with unique properties that would become part of what he later called his “green box collection.” These compounds are now valuable resources for researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s Carbone Cancer Center’s Drug Development Core. Anderson was awarded the prestigious ACS Hudson Award for Carbohydrate Chemistry in 1984.

Project SEED provides support to young students who can become researchers making major contributions to science just as Anderson did during his lifetime.

--Geraldine Vent

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