ACS District VI Director Candidate

Rita R. Boggs
Candidate, District VI Director, 2018-2020

I am an emeritus ACS member, 2010 ACS Fellow, a small chemical business entrepreneur, a former chemistry teacher, and volunteer. I have advanced the goals of the American Chemical Society through sustained service at the local, regional and national ACS levels, through promotion of chemistry education and literacy as a chemistry educator, and as a chemistry ambassador to my local community as a citizen-scientist-activist.

As an ACS member since 1968, I became involved as a Southern California local section volunteer after I moved to California in 1979. I received the 1992 Agnes Ann Green Distinguished Service Award for my efforts to bring sound administrative policies to the section and saving it from financial disaster. I have served as a Southern California section Councilor since 1993. I served on the Task Force on Councilor Reimbursement Policy, At the time, there was no financial assistance for Councilors. I valued the input that Councilors brought to National Meetings, and therefore, felt that their travel expenses should be covered. I coordinated the effort to get Councilors reimbursed for their expenses. Today, National pays 80 percent of the expenses and the local section pays the remaining 20 percent. As a Councilor, I also served on the Committee on Nominations and Elections, Council Policy Committee, Local Section Activities Committee, Membership Affairs Committee, and the Senior Chemists Committee. At the regional level, I was the Southern California Section delegate to the Coordinating Committee of California Sections, a coalition of local California ACS sections that was involved in communicating to local ACS members California state legislation that affected chemists and the chemical enterprise. I also served the Western Region as Registration Chair and Exhibits Chair for three Western Regional Meetings.

Now retired from teaching and the day-to-day operations at my company, American Research and Testing Inc., I focus my attention on local issues in the City of Carson where I live. As a chemistry ambassador, I try to help my community understand and confront chemical pollution and safety issues. I found that City Council meeting agendas often included whether homes should be built near sites that were polluted with chemicals such as methane. I was glad to be there to point out the dangers of such things. I am learning more and more the value of chemists to the public. I have been appointed to the Planning Commission for the city where such things come up occasionly.

After graduating from Notre Dame College of Staten Island, I became a Catholic nun with the community that ran the college. The college did not continue for financial reasons. It was sold to another college, which did not teach chemistry. Since this eliminated my opportunity, I went out on my own and went to California.

Having found that my first job in California was not to my liking, I started my own company. I learned a lot in doing so, particularly in marketing, understanding the needs of the public, and the needs of companies. These companies began to realize the value of chemists. We can solve their problems.

I started the company in 1982 and we are still flying high! We are often put in the position of listening to a company’s problem and finding the chemistry that fixes it.

I focus more and more on the value of the chemist. Have you noticed the excellent treatments for disease that are being developed by chemists? Nine years ago I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Initally, it was a death sentence. Now I feel great. Of course I thank God, but I also thank the chemists who successfully found the treatment for my surrival.

I have great interest in creating better education, particularly in high school education. If high school science education is poor, the students lose interest in majoring in science.

I talked about learning the importance of marketing. I will make every effort to publicize the spectacular accomplishments of the chemists. What wonders chemists can accomplish!

Salaries for women chemists are still lower than men’s. We have to fix it!!

All in all, we have to do better on getting better salaries for chemists. Their contributions are huge!

My condensed bio:

BOGGS, RITA R. Southern California Section. American Research and Testing, Inc., Gardena, California.

Academic Record: Notre Dame College of Staten Island, B.A., cum laude 1959; Union College, M.S., 1967; University of Pennsylvania., Ph.D., 1973.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2010; Agnes Ann Green Distinguished Service Award, Southern California Section, ACS, 1992; Sigma Xi; Kappa Gamma Pi.

Professional Positions (for past ten years): American Research and Testing Inc., CEO, 2008 to present; CEO and President, 1982-2008.

Service in ACS National Offices: Council Policy Committee, 2005-07; Committee on Nominations and Elections, 1999-2004; Committee on Local Section Activities, 1995-96, Committee Associate, 1994; Women Chemists Committee, Committee Associate, 1987; Task Force on Councilor Reimbursement Policy, 1998, 1995; Task Force for Study of ACS Bylaw Amendment (Bylaw X) Chair, 1997.

Service in ACS Offices: Member ACS since 1968. Southern California Section: Councilor, 1993-2016; Alternate Councilor, 1989-91; Chair, 1990; Chair-Elect, 1989; Program Committee Chair, 1989; Nominating Committee Chair, 1996; Tolman Award Committee Chair, 1996, 1991, 1989; Directory Committee Chair, 1992; Long-Range Planning Committee Chair, 1991; California Coordinating Committee Delegate, 1988 to 2001, Chair 1997-98; Professional Relations & Statistics Committee Chair, 1984-85; Manpower Committee Chair, 1982; Executive Committee, 1981-97; Employment Committee Chair, 1993-94, 1981-87; Agnes Anne Green Distinguished Service Award Committee Chair, 1993. Western Regional Meeting: Registration Committee, Co-Chair, 1993; Exhibits Committee, Co-Chair, 1993; Directory Committee, 1992.

Member: ACS Divisions: Professional Relations, and Small Chemical Businesses.

Related Activities: California State University, Dominguez Hills, Lecturer, 1985-97; Member, Advisory Board for Chemical Technology; Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 1988- 1992; Chemistry Career Speaker, Local Colleges and Universities, California Association of Chemistry Teachers; El Camino College, Instructor, 1983-85; U.S. Testing Company, Director, Chemical and Textile Groups, 1979-82; Colgate Palmolive Research Center, Senior Research Chemist, 1975-79; Rutgers University, Co-adjunct Assistant Professor, 1977-78; Notre Dame College of Staten Island, Instructor, 1967-69.