RIT/NTID Teacher Honored for Advancing Diversity in Chemical Sciences




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Annemarie Ross, an assistant professor in Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Laboratory Science Technology program, has been given the Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences.

The national award was given by the American Chemical Society during its northeast regional meeting in Rochester.

Named for the late dean of the College of Science at Texas State University and longtime ACS leader, the award recognizes individuals and/or institutions who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.

Part of Ross’s nomination summary, written by her colleagues, read: “As a deaf professional, skilled scientist and caring educator, she is an ideal role model to the hundreds of students with disabilities that she has directly helped to find successful careers in chemistry…She leads by example when she shows students how to be successful because of their disability, not despite it.”

ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, presented Ross with the award.

“When I first received notice that I had won the award, I was both happily surprised and honored. It was an honor just to be nominated,” Ross said. “I strive to be a role model to future female deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists, and this award affirms that my efforts in doing so have been successful. I especially was touched by the inscription on the plaque I received: ‘For her exceptional and inspirational leadership as a mentor, teacher, colleague and diversity champion in the chemical enterprise and beyond.’ To be referred to as a ‘diversity champion’ comes with high expectations, and I plan to embrace that title by my continued commitment to immerse the chemistry field with diverse and talented individuals.”

Ross received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from RIT in 2005, and a master’s degree in professional studies with concentrations in chemistry and biotechnology from RIT in 2008. She worked at IBM, but decided to return to RIT/NTID in 2007 “to give back to the deaf community.”

Ross won the 2012 Faculty Humanitarian Award from NTID’s student body.

“We all are proud of Annemarie’s recognition,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “Her enthusiasm for teaching is a testament to her success and popularity with her students. Her passion for teaching is evident with her constant smile. This award is well-deserved.”

A native of St. Clairsville, Ohio, Ross is a member of several ACS committees including the national Committee on Chemists with Disabilities, and often is looked to for her expertise in the area of diversifying the chemistry field.

As part of the award, Ross will receive a $1,000 grant to support her teaching activities.