Winds of Change - Summer 2017 - 31

Shafer
Powell

Another highlight has been mentorship
from ORISE scientists. Colleen Iversen,
who was my first point of contact, has been
my mentor, and that's been very important
in terms of all that I'm able to learn as I
work on different projects.
How has your experience so far
influenced your career plans? Based on

what I've learned at ORISE, I know I want
to continue working in data harvesting,
management, and curation. I don't think I
would have found that direction so soon
without my participation in the work at
the laboratory. I knew I wanted to gain
experience in environmental science, and
now I see the path for developing real
expertise. That could involve graduate
school at some point, but for now I'm in
the right place.

CARLOS JONES (POWELL); THOMAS PROFFEN (HOOD)

❚ AMERICAN CHEMICAL
SOCIETY (ACS) SCHOLARS
PROGRAM
Through ACS, students can find opportunities that help them get real-world experience
via internships and summer research
programs. Chartered by Congress with a
mission "to advance the broader chemistry
enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit
of Earth and its people," ACS is a nonprofit
with nearly 157,000 members. Key aspects of
its work are supporting future chemists,
enabling career development, advancing
science, and promoting diversity.
ACS publishes numerous scientific
journals and databases, convenes major
research conferences, and provides
educational, science policy, and career
programs in chemistry. This initiative
includes opportunities available through
the ACS Scholars Program, which provides
underrepresented undergraduate students
with scholarship and mentoring support.
The program awards renewable scholarships of up to $5,000 to qualified students.
aises.org

High school seniors and college freshmen,
sophomores, or juniors pursuing a college
degree in the chemical sciences or chemical
technology are eligible to apply.
ASK A PARTICIPANT
Taylor Hood earned a bachelor's degree in
chemistry with a forensic concentration at
Alabama A&M University (AAMU), where
she graduated magna cum laude in 2012. She
went on to earn her master's in chemistry from
the University of Maryland, College Park, in
2015. Hood is a former ACS Scholars Program
participant with numerous other honors and
awards, including the ACS National Student
Leadership Award. She is now a production
editor for Chemical and Engineering News,
the ACS weekly magazine. We asked her how
ACS has supported her on her STEM path.
How did you become interested in a
STEM career, and how did you learn
about the opportunities available through
ACS? In high school I debated between an

undergraduate degree in physics or
chemistry. I was interested in seeing what
made things fall down, and in what made
them blow up! I decided on chemistry in my
senior year; I liked understanding the
building blocks of how different things are
made and fit together. I didn't learn about
ACS until I went to AAMU and a counselor
told me about the organization. I registered
as a freshman, and became an official ACS
member in 2009. Then I applied for and
received scholarship funding through ACS.

about being a female minority, coming from
a family that couldn't afford my education,
and having a disability that threatened to
hold me back. A lot of people say that if you
have seizures, you can't be in a lab at all. I told
the committee that nothing was going to stop
me - no matter what, I'm going to keep
pursuing chemistry.
After receiving the award, I was accepted
into the ACS Scholars Program and received
a renewable scholarship. As an ACS Scholar
I was assigned a mentor, received help and
support in applying for internships, and had
a network I could rely on when I had
questions. My mentor and other advisors
stayed in close contact with me even after I
graduated. In fact, once I started my
postgraduate work at the University of
Maryland, they asked me to join the ACS
Chemists with Disabilities Committee.
What kind of overall impact has ACS had
on your education and career path?

Without ACS, I don't think I could have kept
going with my education. My involvement in
the organization was the one thing that kept
me constantly able to persist, even when
things were difficult. I've met so many people
through ACS who continue to be a source of
community and support. And now, of course,
I work for ACS full time on Chemical and
Engineering News. I get to stay on top of
what's happening in my field. Sometimes I
even conduct experiments that are related to
articles, and then help make videos. It's fun,
challenging, and interesting.

How did your involvement with ACS
progress? In 2011, I received the Overcom-

What would you like our readers to know
about the kinds of opportunities you found
through ACS? First, it really helps to have a

ing Challenges Award from the ACS Women
Chemists Committee. I have epilepsy, a
seizure disorder. In my award essay I wrote

network of people in your field - that's
really important. Don't be afraid to ask for
guidance or encouragement. And don't hold

»

Taylor Hood during
her internship with
Los Alamos National
Laboratory in 2010

SUMMER 2017 * WINDS OF CHANGE 31


http://www.aises.org

Winds of Change - Summer 2017

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