Presented by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and sponsored by its Committee on Minority Affairs, the Stanley C. Israel Regional
Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences 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.
Nominees for the award are required to have created or fostered ongoing programs within
chemical sciences that have resulted in increased numbers of persons from diverse
and underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, or women who participate
in the chemical enterprise. Winners are awarded a medal and a grant of $1,000 to support
the activities or programs for which the award was given.
“It's sobering to see the long list of chemists who've been honored by the ACS for
their diversity and inclusion efforts and at the same time see the huge disparities
that remain in our profession,” Roesner said. “It's a call to work harder.”
During her time at IWU, Roesner has been a pillar in the Chemistry Department through her many services. She currently serves as chair and is an active member
of the American Chemical Society and past president of the Illinois Wesleyan chapter
of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). As an inorganic chemist,
Roesner teaches several chemistry courses and has many research projects, including
attaching polyoxometalates to solid supports to enhance their utility as oxidation
catalysts and synthesizing astrochemically relevant mineral dusts to be studied by
submillimeter spectroscopy. She is in the process of developing inorganic and materials
chemistry projects for the undergraduate curriculum and gives students opportunities
to participate in her various projects.
Since 2014, Roesner has co-directed the Summer Science Program for Leadership Inquiry
and Campus Engagement (SPLICE) and, more recently, NexSTEM, a National Science Foundation grant-funded program that provides scholarships for
talented STEM students with financial need.
“Our goal is to be proactive about inclusion. Rather than react when a student struggles
with the college environment, how can we proactively help students find community
with one another and in our academic departments?” Roesner said.
“The professional science world too often rewards intensity over balance and diversity
of interests. A liberal arts college like Illinois Wesleyan is a great place to help
students see that being a scientist doesn't mean having to give up your other interests