Greetings and Happy New Year!
On behalf of the Board of Managers, it is my pleasure to welcome the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW) to 2022. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent over 4,000 members within the Washington, DC area. CSW was established in 1884 with the mission to promote the chemical community and is currently one of the largest American Chemical Society (ACS) local sections.
We acknowledge the stress so many in our community are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years. Our robust and active membership community has continued to offer support and has stayed engaged throughout these trying times and we are thankful. CSW plans to remain strong and offer excellent programming and events for our members. Technology has afforded us the opportunity to provide innovative events and to reach out to members who otherwise would have not been able to be involved. Given the impact of the pandemic and the current social environment, we will continue hosting virtual events to give our diverse community the opportunity to stay involved as the pandemic environment evolves with hope to eventually transition to more hybrid programming in the near future.
I’m currently in the Federal Government as an Engineering Technician who recently transitioned into a detail opportunity as an Academic Program Manager. This allows me the opportunity to continue my passion in outreach and recruiting to help pass the torch to the next generation. I’m a huge advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). I have over 20 years of experimental laboratory experience throughout academia, government, and industry. My research expands from laser optics, food ingredients, and rheology, to my current specialty in infrastructure material science. I’ve been involved in ACS for over 10 years, most recently as a CSW Board member. I have two amazing children who enjoy STEM and share their passion of science with their friends and school mates.
I intend to use my term as president to foster collaborative interactions between academia, industry, government, and consultants. I’m also dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion across the society, from our membership, to our programs and awards. I would also like to engage and highlight our hard-working volunteers throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area. Their dedication to the society helps to keep our programs on going and innovative. Lastly, I would like to expand our technician and bench chemist members’ access to resources.
Our first general meeting of 2022 will be held virtually Wednesday, January 26th at 12:00 pm. Please join us for a panel discussion on “Balancing a Chemistry-Related Career and Caretaking: Two Full Time Jobs”. Contact CSW if you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, speaker, or to just share ideas. You can find details about participating in events and joining CSW committees on our website at www.capitalchemist.org. We would love to hear from you and all feedback is welcome.
I hope we all have a very productive year and record volunteer engagement. See you in 2022!
LaKesha N. Perry
2022 CSW President