First Business Trip Yielded Great Benefits

Ingrid Montes explains what came of that trip from San Juan to D.C.
Dr. Ingrid Montes-González, Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Dr. Ingrid Montes-González, Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Dr. Ingrid Montes-González has been a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, for 35 years. She has two current areas of research: organometallic chemistry and chemical education. Through her research and volunteer service, she has contributed to chemistry, chemical education, and community outreach in Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the world.

She is an active ACS member and volunteer. She was director-at-large for ACS from 2013-21, the founder of the Chemistry Festivals, a program adopted by ACS that has been held around the world, and co-founder and coordinator for the Spanish webinar series of ACS and the Mexican Chemical Society. In 2022, she started her new role as a director of the SACNAS’ Board of Director.

She is an ACS and IUPAC (International Pure and Applied Chemistry) Fellow. She has received many other recognitions in Puerto Rico, the U.S., and internationally. In 2017, she was selected as one of the 12 IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering of the world. In 2020, she was selected as one of the 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America.


What is the one essential piece of personal tech you always travel with?

I always travel with my Mac.

Window or aisle?


Where would your dream business trip take you? What appeals to you about this destination?

To Singapore - because besides being a beautiful island country, it is a hub for innovation, science, technology, and research. Or, perhaps to Patagonia (Argentina/Chile). I love nature and animals, so it is a very rich geographical region with glaciers, whales, penguins, and more.

Airport you are highly motivated to avoid, if at all possible. Why?

Atlanta. It is really busy airport and I have missed many connections there.

How do you pass the time while flying?

Usually reading, because I cannot sleep on airplanes.

Where did your very first business trip take you? What do you most remember about that trip?

My first business trip was from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Washington, DC, as part of my proposal from the Department of Education.  I met very special people during that meeting; several of whom turned out to become good friends, and even mentors.

What is your go-to snack to bring on-board the plane?

I love oatmeal cookies.

Favorite ACS meeting site?

San Diego

What do you do to alleviate jet lag?

I try to stay awake until the destination bedtime.

Was there a business trip you have taken that went particularly badly? What happened?

It was many years ago. My first flight from Puerto Rico to Anaheim was cancelled, and after that it was a nightmare to get other flights or reasonable connections. I arrived 24 hours later than expected, and missed some of my major responsibilities at the ACS meeting.

Your best business travel tip for readers of ACS Industry Matters?

When flying, avoid short-timed connections as much as possible!

This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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