Samuella B. Sigmann
Senior lecturer, certified Chemical Hygiene Officer and chemistry stockroom director
A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
2019 Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award
American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety
“The ACS is starting to recognize chemical safety as a true subdiscipline of chemistry and it is exciting to be part of this. Helping to better prepare chemists and teachers with risk assessment skills and knowledge of the science of chemical safety is very rewarding professionally for me.”
Samuella B. Sigmann, senior lecturer, certified Chemical Hygiene Officer and chemistry stockroom director in Appalachian’s A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
BOONE, N.C. — The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety (ACS CHAS) has announced Appalachian State University’s Samuella B. Sigmann ’80 ’88 as the recipient of its 2019 Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership and service in the field of chemical health and safety.
Sigmann, a senior lecturer of chemical safety education, certified Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) and chemistry stockroom director in Appalachian’s A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences (CFS), will receive the award during the ACS Fall 2019 National Meeting in San Diego Aug. 25–29.
“Being recognized by my peers for ‘outstanding contributions in the field of chemical health and safety’ is quite an honor for me,” Sigmann said. “The ACS is starting to recognize chemical safety as a true subdiscipline of chemistry and it is exciting to be part of this.
“Educating chemistry majors and preservice K–12 teachers is a large part of my focus here at Appalachian and in the ACS. Helping to better prepare chemists and teachers with risk assessment skills and knowledge of the science of chemical safety is very rewarding professionally for me,” she added.
“Ms. Sigmann has made outstanding contributions not only to the Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences but also to Appalachian State University and nationally through her work in the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety,” said Dr. Claudia P. Cartaya-Marin, professor in and chair of the CFS department.
“She has been instrumental in the development of a comprehensive safety program for the department that includes training for students conducting research, for students working in the chemistry stockroom and for faculty members,” Cartaya-Marin said.
Students in Sigmann’s chemical safety course are introduced to more detailed information than they might receive otherwise, such as how to access and use Material Safety Data Sheets. They also learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, as well as about proper waste management and the appropriate types of personal protective gear, such as goggles, gloves and respirators.
Additionally, Sigmann has introduced risk assessment into the CFS department’s research courses by teaching students how to create a job hazard analysis. This analysis helps students “develop competencies needed to apply risk assessment specifically for their own research or in the future, when they are doing graduate research or working in industry,” according to Cartaya-Marin.
Sigmann has been a member of the CHAS since 2006 and has been active on the organization’s Executive Committee since 2010. She is currently chair of the division.
In 2016, she was recognized with the CHAS Tillmanns-Skolnick Award for service in managing the division’s Administrative Manual.
She is an associate member of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) and has assisted on several high-impact projects for the committee. She is also an active member on the ACS Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) Safety Committee.
Sigmann has 30-plus years of experience teaching at Appalachian. She earned her B.S. in chemistry, preprofessional and paramedical and M.A. in chemistry, education from Appalachian in 1980 and 1988, respectively. She also holds an M.S. in occupational safety and health.
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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
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The 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 to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.