The MTSU Foundation Recognizes the Hard Work and Service of Two Outstanding Faculty in the Department of Chemistry
Two professors in the Department of Chemistry were recognized with awards by the MTSU Foundation during a recent ceremony. Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, professor of Chemistry and director of the Women in STEM (WISTEM) Center received the prestigious Career Achievement Award, recognizing her tremendous service in the area of STEM education with an emphasis on the empowerment of women and girls in science related fields. Dr. Iriarte-Gross has been actively involved in engaging young women and girls in science for nearly 30 years, starting the first Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) in Tennessee, serving as an advisor for the MTSU Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) student organization, and working closely with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). Dr. Iriarte-Gross has also been successful in securing external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for projects such as GRITS and ADVANCE that promote and study the involvement of girls and women in science based careers. She is an active member and councilor of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and serves on both the Nashville and national Women Chemists Committees of the ACS. The list of awards received by Dr. Iriarte-Gross in recognition of her service is long, including the E. Ann Nalley Southeast Region Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, the William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science from the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, the Dreyfus Foundation/American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, the Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award at SERMACS, and the ACS Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year award. In addition, she is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was named to the ACS Leadership Advisory Board. All together, Dr. Iriarte-Gross’s work over her career has positively affected the lives of thousands of girls and women, making her a most deserving candidate of this award.
Dr. Preston MacDougall received the Outstanding Public Service Award at this year’s Foundation Awards in recognition of this work locally in science community outreach. Dr. MacDougall has served in the Nashville Section of the American Chemical Society and has been recognized for this service with four national ChemLuminary Awards for Outstanding Public Relations. He as a founding member of the ACS Tennessee Government Affairs Committee that worked to establish the STEM Education Caucus in the Tennessee legislature. Dr. MacDougall has also been heavily involved in bringing hands-on chemistry activities to local schools as well as the Discovery Center, a local science museum. He spearheaded the partnership between the Nashville Section of the ACS and the Discovery Center to begin a public scientific forum known as Scientific Cafés. The Department is proud to highlight the recognition of Dr. Iriarte-Gross and Dr. MacDougall for their hard work and commitment to serving the Middle Tennessee community. More information on this year's MTSU Foundation Awards can be found here.