Loretta L. Jones, 2011 Outstanding Service to the Division Award

Loretta JonesLoretta first encountered the Division of Chemical Education when she was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying chemistry and the teaching of chemistry. It was 1978 and she scraped up some funds to go to the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Colorado State University. There she was assigned to room with another newcomer named Anna Wilson. Both roommates had a wonderful time at the meeting and both found ways to become active members of the Division. It was amazing to them that so many people who cared about how chemistry was taught could be gathered together in one place.

After graduating in 1979, during the years of the lost Ph.D.s, Loretta was grateful to find a postdoctoral position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There she worked with Gilbert P. Haight, Jr., who had been active in Division activities for some time. She could see that some people seemed to know just what to do to make things happen in chemical education, but she was new and inexperienced. So she asked Gil Haight what she could do to become more involved in the field and he said, "Offer to help." That sounded easy, so she did just that and found that the phrase opened many doors. She started by organizing symposia at meetings and soon she had almost more opportunities to help than she could handle.

Loretta Jones with previous studentsIn 1985 Loretta was one of the recipients of a DivCHED travel award to travel to the ICCE in Tokyo. That trip was such an amazing experience for her that she went to the next national ACS meeting a day early to attend the Executive Committee meeting and thank them. Marge Gardner, chair of the Committee on International Affairs, was there and asked her to serve on the committee. That was the beginning of a deeper involvement in the Division. She eventually became chair of that committee. Then she was elected to serve three terms as DivCHED Councilor and as the 2006 DivCHED Chair. She also served for nine years on the ACS Committee on Education (SOCED) and the SOCED pre-college subcommittee, acting as liaison to the Division for part of that time. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the ACS Examinations Institute and served as its Secretary for nine years. She served on the DivCHED Task Forces on Research in Chemistry Education and on Professionalism. She also served on the DivCHED Committees on Chemical Education Research (chair, 1994-1997), Committee on Awards and Gifts, the Committee on Committees, and the Personnel and Nominations Committee. She is currently a member of the Long Range Planning Committee (chair, 2009-2010). She served on the Advisory Board to the Division's ChemSource SourceView Project and was a contributor to the Guide to Preservice Use of ChemSource and to the 1983 Edition of the ACS Handbook for Teaching Assistants.

Loretta has said that she is not only grateful for this award, she is grateful for everything that she has learned from DivCHED officers and members over the years. She then sent these three pieces of advice for young Division members who want to become more involved:

  1. Fill out the nomination form in this newsletter to indicate your areas of interest. As there may not be an opening in your area, keep doing it until you are asked to serve.
  2. Offer to help.
  3. Say "Thank you" often.
Awardee Name: 
Loretta L. Jones, 2011

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