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We have had an eventful and exciting 2023 in the Division of Polymer Chemistry!
From national to regional meetings and from workshops and webinars to
international conferences, POLY has been a force this year in driving the future of
polymer science.(Guymon, p.1)
While excited about the future, this ‘new normal’ is much different than what
we remember before 2020 and has brought with it a new set of challenges and
opportunities. As such, it has been the perfect time to reflect on who we are as
a division and where we can make the most positive impact.
It has been a great year for POLY with two well attended National Meetings
(hybrid), 4 completed and 2 upcoming workshops, 2 highly attended webinars,
and confirmed participation in the upcoming Regional Meetings (MWRM, WRM,
and NERM). All these activities were true celebrations of polymer science made
possible by our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers as well as the support from our
membership. We thank you all for your invaluable service!
Our Division strives to “be the premier professional organization promoting
polymer science and its value to society” and I am thrilled to be working with such a
dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers to achieve that goal. The global pandemic
has challenged all of us, personally and professionally. We all have learned new ways
to communicate, be resilient, be agile, and most importantly, we witnessed the important
role science played in COVID-19 prevention and control. I feel deeply grateful to our incredible volunteers, seasoned and new, who stepped up to the challenges faced, stayed dedicated, and continued to serve and lead our Division.
It is an incredibly interesting time to be a polymer chemist/scientist, as the work we do crosses so many disciplines. This past year, we’ve seen many polymer scientists pivot their research towards solutions for the COVID pandemic, whether it be in PPE manufacturing and sterilization for re-use; understanding spike protein structure, or delivering mRNA vaccines, to name a few. I have always been proud to call myself a chemist and a scientist, but never more so than in the past year and a half. I consider myself fortunate to be working with POLY’s outstanding Executive Committee and Business Office staff as we navigate this transitional year. POLY would not exist without the enthusiasm and commitment of our many volunteers - not only those on the Executive Committee, but also the Programming team, the awards committees, the symposium, workshop and webshop organizers, our committees and subcommittees, and the leaders of our student chapters. It has been a challenging year for all of us, and I am deeply grateful to each and every volunteer for their time and efforts.
It has been a most unusual year for all of us, and I consider myself fortunate to be working with POLY’s outstanding Executive Committee and Business Office staff as we navigate this transitional year. POLY would not exist without the enthusiasm and commitment of our many volunteers - not only those on the Executive Committee, but also the Programming team, the awards committees, the symposium, workshop and webshop organizers, our committees and subcommittees, and the leaders of our student chapters. It has been a challenging year for all of us, and I am deeply grateful to each volunteer for their time and efforts this year.
Diversity, inclusion, and respect are critical values for our profession and for Society as a
whole. As a NASA manager, I have seen first-hand how promoting diversity in STEM can
impact people’s lives while also enhancing the mission and effectiveness of an organization.
Like NASA, ACS and POLY are diverse organizations with people of all ages, races, gender,
sexual orientation, and professional and educational backgrounds. We are stronger together
when we take advantage of and promote our diversity.
A key to POLY’s success is the hard work and dedication of our many volunteers - from symposium, workshop, webshop, and webinar organizers to our National Meeting Programming Chairs to members of the Executive Committee and its subcommittees. This is evident now more than ever in these challenging times and I am profoundly grateful to them for their service and dedication.
"POLY led scientific discussion at the forefront of international challenges in Chemistry and Water at the San Diego National Meeting, with symposia including Characterization of Plastics in Aquatic Environments; Eco-Friendly Polymerization; Polymeric Materials for Water Purification; and the DSM Graduate Student Award symposium focused on Sustainability. The spring 2020 national meeting is filled with exciting programming on the theme of Macromolecular Chemistry: The Second Century."
"POLY strives to provide the professional platform for engaging in discussion of scientific advances, finding research collaborators, recruiting, being recruited, educating, learning,
and publicizing your own research. It also provides the opportunity to network, make new friends, and have some fun!"
"An exciting honor was POLY being presented with an ACS ChemLuminary Award for
outstanding collaboration in 2017 between a Local Section (New York) and a Technical
Division for the symposium, "Journey to Mars." The ceremony was opened by ACS
President Peter Dorhout and the keynote address was presented by Carol Duane,
recipient of the 2018 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. It
was truly amazing to see examples of collaboration and accomplishment across ACS."
(Gerbi, p. 1)
"During the Winter Executive Committee Planning Meeting in San Antonio, POLY leadership participated in an ACS facilitated Strategic Planning Workshop to review the POLY mission and vision and to craft five-year goals and strategies to keep POLY relevant and focused. Three main goals were identified. Visit the POLY website to access the 2018 POLY Strategic Plan. I encourage you to contact the initiative champions to become more involved with your Division." (Gerbi, p. 1)
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