North Jersey Section of the ACS

Scholarship Information for Minorities

Please Note: The ACS maintains an excellent list of organizations and companies that offer scholarships to minority students: [ Minority Student Scholarships ].

Check out NJ-ACS Minority Affairs on Facebook

Minority women still most underrepresented in science despite progress

2012 Forum on Minority Womens in Science, San Diego

Thirty-five years after a landmark report documented minority women as the most underrepresented individuals in science, engineering, medicine and dentistry, dramatic improvements have occurred for women of color, but serious obstacles remain.

This was the topic of a forum held at the recent ACS meeting in San Diego. Jeannette Brown of the North Jersey section was one of the organizers and participants.

[ Click here to view the 27 minute video of the forum ]

News Recent Book Signing Events

African American Women Chemists, by Jeannette Brown

Jeannette Brown's book African American Women Chemists

Science Cafe and Book Signing
Date: February 5 , 2012
Time: 2-3 PM
Location: Watchung Booksellers
Watchung Plaza
54 Fairfield Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Come and enjoy wine and cheese and listen to a reading of Jeannette's book African American Women Chemists.

Jeannette Brown has finally published her first book, African American Women Chemists. It is published by Oxford University Press and is available at most book stores now, either on the shelf or by special order. It can be ordered on as well. It is available in print form or kindle or nook. She is trying to get it on books on tapes because she has two cousins who are legally blind and she would like to have them read it.

The book is about the lives of 25 African American women chemists whose work was hiding in plain sight! Do you know that an African American woman holds the patent on a Nitrate explosive detector which is used by Homeland Security at the airport? Here name is Betty Harris and her life is in the book. Did you know that a young woman developed a medicine for leprosy that scientists with more experience could not do? Her name is Alice Ball and her story is in the book and also in ChemMatters. The life of Allene Johnson, a North Jersey ACS member and award winning high school teacher is also detailed in the book

The author will also be signing books at the Marian Thompson Wright Lecture. The topic is Health and History in the African American Community which fits in with some of the women in her book:

February 18, 2012 -- During the Marian Thompson Wright Lecture at Rutgers Newark.

There will also be a book signing on:

March 27, 2012 -- At the American Chemical Society National Meeting San Diego California.

Ms. Brown is working on other book signings nationwide to be held at the ACS Regional Meetings.

Percy Julian

“Forgotten Genius”

PBS NOVA special on Percy Julian

Percy Julian was a pioneering chemist and a member of the National Academy of Science -- the first African American chemist to receive that honor. NOVA produced a documentary on his life and work, which was aired on PBS and is available on DVD. View the following links for further information:


An organization that encourages minorities to pursue careers in science

Just, Garcia, Hill -- encouraging minorities to pursue science careers
[ details... ]

ACS Committee on Minority Affairs

Please visit the website of the ACS Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA).

Also, you can read their Spring 2008 Newsletter.

Harvard's Free Tuition Announcement

Harvard is offering free tuition for students that have a family income below $40,000. If you are a member of Blacks In Government, a mentor of young adults or have children, nieces, nephews or know anyone who qualify for Harvard's minimum entry level requirements please give them this information.

Harvard's tuition announcement 'Highlights Failure of Prestigious Universities to Enroll Low-Income Students' began on March 1, 2004.

Excerpt From the Harvard University Web-page:
[Beginning with the 2004-05 year, parents in families with incomes of less than $40,000 will no longer be expected to contribute to the cost of attending Harvard for their children. In addition, Harvard will reduce the contributions expected of families with incomes between $40,000 and $60,000.]

In making the announcement, Harvard's president Lawrence H. Summers said, "When only 10 percent of the students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of income distribution, then we are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to the lower half of the income distribution."

Simply put, from now on undergraduate students from low-income families can go to Harvard for tuition and no student loans!

To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $40,000 a year visit Harvard's financial aid web site or call the school's financial aid office at (617) 495- 1581. EEO Office, Richmond, VA.

Thank you for thinking BIG and making a BIG difference.........
BIG National First VP

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freddie and Ada Brown Encouragement Award for Future Careers in Chemistry

[ details, forms, flyer ]

Freddie and Ada Brown were the parents of Jeannette Brown, a pioneer African American woman chemist. Although they never studied chemistry they encouraged their daughter to pursue a career as an industrial medicinal chemist at a time when there were few African Americans in the field. Ms Brown has discovered in her search of the history of African American (Women) Chemists that each one of them had a mentor or teacher to help them to succeed. This award is dedicated to the parents and mentors of current African American and Native American chemical practitioners with the hope that the recipients follow in their footsteps.

Many factors affect the first conscious steps of young people about to assume grown-up responsibilities: the state of there. Intellectual development, innate ability and inclination, socio- economic conditions, traditions of their environment, conception of reality, all requiring mature decisions from, by definition, immature individuals. Yet, these decisions will determine the extent of realization of their full potential, direct their lives, and define their role in society. In such instances, concerned and illuminated recognition is invaluable in overcoming uncertainty and hesitation, igniting ambition and the desire to succeed. Attention and sympathy are crucial.

The objective of this Award is to identify and encourage high achieving middle- and high-school students, of African American and Native American heritage, to further develop their budding academic skills, with views on careers in chemistry.

The award will consist of a monetary prize and a mentor to follow the career of the recipient. We expect to present 4 awards per year.
Funds for this award will come from private and corporate donations with a dollar for dollar matching grant of up to $2,000 to be donated by Ms Brown

This award will be inaugurated during the academic year of 2008-09 with the first presentation to be given in the spring of 2009.

If you would like to contribute to the matching grant for this award which is tax deductible just as is any ACS award, please send a check payable to North Jersey ACS Freddie and Ada Brown Award, mail to

North Jersey ACS Section Office
Freddie and Ada Brown Award
Attn Jeannette Brown
4 Cameron Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

If you would like to mentor a student or have questions: Jeannette E. Brown, or call 908-239-1515.

Chemist Becomes Historian

Jeannette E Brown

Jeannette Brown, a retired organic medicinal chemist, was one of the many authors of the short biographies that have been selected for publication in the new series of books African American National Biography, recently published by Oxford University Press.

African American National Biography is a joint project of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and Oxford University Press. It covers a broad range of African American lives than ever before depicted. It documents the lives of 4,100 individuals both the famous and ordinary people[1]. It is edited by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham of Harvard University. (More information can be found here: ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, and ref 4.)

The eight volume set of books published in February 2008 contains biographies of only nineteen chemists and chemical engineers, twelve female and seven male. Ms Brown contributed the biographies of six women chemists and chemical engineers, including Dr. Marie Daly, the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry and Jennie Patrick, the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemical engineering. Dr. Daly was Ms Brown's inspiration for becoming a historian of African American women chemists. Ms Brown met Dr. Daly at a local American Chemical Society meeting and realized that she was talking to a person whose story needed to be told. Dr. Daly was on the research team of Alfrey and Mirsky at Rockefeller Institute (now University) and worked on discovering the amino acid precursors to the discovery of DNA. The work of this research team was mentioned by Dr. James Watson in his Nobel Prize lecture. Dr. Jennie Patrick had to overcome racial prejudice in order to prove to the world that she deserved to become the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemical engineering. During her career in corporate America she was the first to design a pilot plant for supercritical fuel extraction and became a research manger of the first fundamental research engineering group of another corporation.

The editors of African American National Biography (AANB) indexed all scientists and engineers under the heading of technology. Ms Brown extracted the list of chemists and chemical engineers from this list and created an index for use by other chemists (see below). Ms Brown is one of the chemists whose biographies appear in AANB.

Ms Brown's contribution to AANB is her first publication her project of documenting the history of African American women chemists. She has given numerous lectures and talks about her research and she is in the process of writing a book about these remarkable women. Her book will become a reference book which will put the lives of these women in one volume for use by students of the history of science, African American history and womens history.

Ms Brown has also taken on a new task by becoming the historian of the American Chemical Society's Women Chemist Committee.


Chemists & Chemical Engineers featured in African American National Biography

NameFieldVol # Page #GenderAuthorNote
Abron, Lilia AnnChem Ev.1 pp.21-22FemaleSherri J. Norris
Anderson, Gloria LongChemistv.1 pp.125-126FemaleJeannette Brown
Brady, St. ElmoChemistv.1 pp.531-532Male Audra J. Wolfe1st PhD
Brown, JeannetteChemistv.1 pp.617-619FemaleMargaret E. M. Tolbert
Daly, Marie MaynardChemistv.2 pp.535-536FemaleJeannette Brown1st PhD
Ferguson, Lloyd NoelChemistv.3 pp.251-252Male Robert Fikes, Jr.
Hawkins, Walter LincolnChem Ev.4 pp.128-129Male Robert Johnson, Jr.
Hill, Henry AaronChemistv.4 pp.234-235Male Kenneth R. Manning
Hill, Mary ElliottChemistv.4 pp.236-237FemaleBilly Scott
Hopkins, EstherChemistv.4 pp.307-308FemaleJeannette Brown
Jemison, MaeChem Ev.4 pp.521-522FemaleMartha Ackmann
Julian, Percy LavonChemistv.5 pp.30-31Male Charles W. Carey, Jr.
King, Reatha ClarkChemistv.5 pp.107-108FemaleJeannette Brown
Massie, Samuel Proctor, Jr.Chemistv.5 pp.431-433Male Debra A. Varnado
McBay, Henry Cecil RansomChemistv.5 pp.460-461Male Rosalyn Mitchell Patterson
McBay, Shirley MathisChemistv.5 pp.461-463FemaleOlivia A. Scriven
Patrick, Jennie R.Chem Ev.6 pp.263-264FemaleJeannette Brown1st PhD
Robeson, Eslanda Cardozo GoodeChemistv.6 pp.632-633FemaleAnn Zeidman-Karpinski
Tolbert, Margaret Ellen MayoChemistv.7 pp.613-614FemaleJeannette Brown

New! Groupsite for NJ ACS Minority Affairs

A Groupsite for North Jersey American Chemical Society Minority Affairs Group has been set up.

The Groupsite is powered by CollectiveX and combine the best features of forums, calendars, email lists, and social networks. This site is a meeting place that provides members of North Jersey American Chemical Society Minority Affairs Group with a shared calendar, discussion forums, photo gallery, files and member profiles.

What can the Minority affairs group do?

  • Promote the recognition of the professional accomplishments of minorities
  • Attract minority students to the profession
  • Identifies minority-friendly educational institutions and businesses
  • Works for the increased participation of minority chemical professionals in the Society at all levels
  • Provides mentoring to minority students
  • Network among ourselves.
This is the promised list serve which is even better because members can communicate with one another, add photos etc.

To sign up go to: