Mary K. Carroll ’86, the Dwane W. Crichton Professor of Chemistry at Union College, has been elected as 2023 president-elect of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society with 151,000 members in 140 countries.
Carroll, an analytical chemist, joined Union in 1992, the first alumna hired as a tenure-track member of Union’s faculty.
She will serve as president of the society in 2024 and immediate past president in 2025; she will also serve on the board of directors from 2023 through 2025.
“Professor Carroll has been a leader in research; mentoring of students; promotion of women in STEM; and advocacy for the teacher-scholar model across liberal arts, engineering, and computer science that is core to Union College,” said President David R. Harris. "I am proud that the ACS membership has elected Mary Carroll, Union College professor and alumna, as its next president.”
“Mary’s elevation to this position of prominence is most fitting and comes as no surprise to her colleagues and students at Union,” said Michele Angrist, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “For decades, Mary has been a devoted and distinguished teacher-scholar, advancing the frontiers of knowledge while providing world-class learning experiences for students. All the while, she has served in a series of key leadership roles at Union over the course of her career. We are thrilled for her.”
“I feel honored and really pleased,” Carroll said in the ACS announcement on Oct. 26, 2022. “I look forward to promoting ACS activities that are going to yield maximum results for the members and for society at large. And I’m also eager to have the opportunity to work with other ACS member volunteers from all different levels.
“At this difficult time, it is critically important that scientists contribute to society as a whole via research, education, advocacy and outreach activities,” she said. “I am truly honored to be ACS president-elect.”
Working on behalf of ACS, Carroll said she intends to focus on supporting the dissemination of research, communicating science to the public, encouraging outreach and increasing diversity.
Carroll co-directs the College’s Aerogel Lab, a highly productive, cross-disciplinary group of students and faculty in chemistry, mechanical engineering and other STEM fields. The lab investigates catalytic aerogels for automotive pollution mitigation and the use of aerogels for sustainable building applications. The Aerogel Lab has been supported by a number of grants from the National Science Foundation. Carroll and her colleagues hold three patents, including two for their aerogel manufacturing process. Since 2001, more than 160 undergraduate students have participated in aerogel research at Union.
Carroll and Aerogel Lab co-director Ann Anderson, the Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering, were awarded the 2021 Stillman Prize for Faculty Excellence in Research.
Since 1998, she has served as a councilor of the Eastern New York ACS section. At the national level, she serves on the ACS Committee on Science. She was recognized as an ACS Fellow in 2016.
At Union, she has served as chair of the Faculty Executive Committee and on the College’s Planning & Priorities Committee.
Prof. Carroll earned her bachelor’s degree from Union College and her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Among her other honors, she was named among 100 Inspiring Women in STEM by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. She received the Outstanding Service Award from the New York Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy; and the Stillman Prize for Outstanding Teaching from Union.
For more on Prof. Carroll, visit her faculty web page.
Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, the ACS mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The organization’s vision is to improve people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.