Mariam Ismail, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UMass Boston has been actively involved in NESACS serving in a variety of roles: Chair of Norris-Richards Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship (2022-present), Councilor (2023-2026 term), German Exchange Committee (2018-present), Alternate Councilor (2018-2021), NSCRC Conference Judge (2013, 2019, 2021), and NSYCC Career Chair (2009-2010).
In this Member Volunteer Spotlight, learn more how Mariam became involved in volunteering as part of ACS, opportunities for mentorship, and advice to others interested in volunteering.
How did you become involved in this volunteer opportunity / position (including details regarding application / interview process if applicable)?
In 2009, I was selected as one of the delegates for the German Exchange Program. Through that trip, I met several NESACS members. When we came back to the US, at the NSCRC that spring, elections were taking place, and I decided I wanted to be a part of this organization. I ran for the NSYCC Career Chair and got elected. Since then, I’ve been serving at some capacity with NESACS, whether it’s the GEX committee, Councilor, judging at the NSCRC, or now as Chair of the Norris-Richards Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship committee.
For this volunteer opportunity / position did you have a mentor and/or do you serve as a mentor to others participants in this program?
My colleague Jonathan Rochford (past chair of the NR summer research scholarship committee) has been instrumental in getting me up to speed with the scholarship and has been an invaluable mentor throughout the entire transition. Ruth Tanner has also been an incredible resource for any questions I have about this committee’s work. I’ve had some incredible mentors and colleagues throughout my work with NESACS. Everyone is very willing to help out and pave the way for the next generation of leaders.
What has been the most rewarding / exciting component of this volunteer opportunity / position?
Through my various roles with NESACS, I’ve met some truly wonderful chemists. I know I always have someone to reach out to if I have any questions or need guidance. Currently, my volunteer positions allow me to give back to our community, and provide opportunities for students, similar to how I was given opportunities early on in my career.
What advice would you give to other individuals considering this volunteer opportunity / position?
Don’t hesitate to go for it. This is an incredible chapter to be a part of. You’ll learn so much while giving back to the community. Take the time to find what excites you and be a part of that