Dr. Lauren Gray Woods
Lecturer of chemistry
Department of Chemistry
2018 Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award
American Chemical Society
“The growth of our club (Appalachian Chemical Society) since I have been involved and the success of our events, like the National Chemistry Week demonstration show in fall 2017, were not because of my efforts alone, but really because of the hard work and dedication of our student members and the support of the department and faculty.”
Lauren Woods, lecturer of chemistry
BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Lauren Gray Woods, lecturer in Appalachian State University’s Department of Chemistry, is one of 52 awardees recognized by the American Chemical Society for her volunteer and outreach efforts that make the science of chemistry accessible to community members of all ages.
Woods, who is a volunteer advisor for the Appalachian Chemical Society, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award for the Carolina-Piedmont local section.
In recognition of her exemplary outreach efforts, the ACS will present her with a certificate and a gift during an upcoming local section event. Awardees will also be recognized in an issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) magazine later this year.
Since 2016, the Appalachian Chemical Society, under her guidance and with the assistance of fellow faculty advisors, has been involved in many outreach activities each semester.
Membership in the Appalachian Chemical Society has increased from 10 students to 20-35 students since Woods’ involvement. The club was awarded the American Chemical Society Commendable Student Chapter Award, which is the second highest award a chapter club can receive.
Woods said, “The Appalachian Chemical Society offers the opportunity for students to participate in outreach and service events on campus and in our region, and promotes professional development by supporting students attending conferences, meeting with guest speakers and hosting informational sessions on topics such as graduate school and writing in the discipline.”
In the last year, the club has hosted the following activities and events:
- The American Chemical Society (ACS) president as a speaker at the departmental annual seminar series.
- A panel with professors from different fields in chemistry and physics to discuss opportunities and answer questions for students about graduate school.
- Volunteer efforts at outreach events such as the Appalachian STEAM Expo and the BuildFest and Google Science Street events sponsored by Boone’s The Children’s Playhouse.
- A pie-your-professor fundraiser on National Pi Day 2018.
Last fall, Woods helped plan and present a chemistry demonstration show on campus for the community, which was the local section’s most outstanding event during National Chemistry Week in 2017. The demo consisted of around 20 students and four faculty members participating, with at least 60 people in attendance.
In addition to Woods’ involvement with the club, in the fall of 2017 she was the Volunteer Chair for the Southeastern Regional meeting of ACS.
In an effort to recognize the outreach efforts made by local section volunteers, the ACS Committee of Community Activities established the Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award program. Each local section has an opportunity to recognize one individual annually for demonstrating extraordinary outreach volunteer service within the section. Volunteers are only eligible to be recognized once every five years.
About the American Chemical Society
Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society. ACS advances the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. ACS also seeks to improve people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.
About the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
The A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with eight different concentrations and an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in fermentation sciences. The department’s programs prepare students to attend graduate and professional schools, as well as for employment in the pharmaceutical and fermentation industries and other business sectors. Learn more at https://chemistry.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.