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American Chemical Society Honors Mills Professor Sandra C. Greer for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Oakland, CA–March 25, 2014 Mills College Professor of Chemistry Sandra C. Greer, has been honored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. The award recognizes significant accomplishments by individuals who have stimulated or fostered the interest of women in chemistry, promoting their professional developments as chemists or chemical engineers.

“I am grateful to have worked with wonderful women and men who have inspired and supported me, and I am honored to be in the company of the amazing women who have previously won this award,” said Sandra Greer, a professor at Mills since 2008 and provost and dean of the faculty from 2008 to 2013. Greer accepted her award at a March 16 symposium given in her honor by the Women’s Chemistry Committee at the annual ACS meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., the ACS award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. A grant of $10,000 also is made to an academic institution, designated by the recipient, to strengthen its activities in meeting the objectives of the award. Greer generously designated the $10,000 grant to Mills College, to be used for undergraduate research in chemistry. Nominees for the award may come from any professional setting: academia, industry, government, or other independent facility.

Professor Greer has long been at the forefront of making the sciences a welcoming career for women. In the late 1960s and 1970s, she lobbied for an on-site daycare at the National Institute of Standards, where she served as a research chemist. She later went on to a 30-plus-year career at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she was named its first tenure-track female professor and later its first female chair. In 1998 she helped found the national committee for the Advancement of Women in the Chemical Sciences (COACh), a grass-roots organization working to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers through innovative programs and strategies.

In accepting her award, Greer noted that while there has been much change in the past 50 years, many women fell by the wayside. “We grieve for the unrealized potential of all these women, and we weep for all the science that did not get done because these women were excluded—the questions not asked, the experiments not done, the papers not written, the students not mentored. What has been the cost for science and for humanity?” asked Greer.

After retiring from the University of Maryland, Greer joined Mills College as provost and dean of the faculty, where she has taught courses in chemistry and physics, and served on several leadership committees, from budget management to executive searches. Her 2012 Convocation address, “Education for Humility,” gained national attention when it was excerpted in The Huffington Post. Greer also presents an annual lecture at the Hellman Summer Science and Math (HSSM) Fellows Program, which provides selected students with a rigorous academic transition to college, preparing for science lectures and laboratories, while at the same time learning how to manage their study time.

“We congratulate Dr. Greer on this exciting industry honor,” said Kimberley L. Phillips, Mills provost and dean of the faculty. “She exemplifies many of the qualities we value so highly here at Mills, not the least of which are a devotion to academic excellence and the pursuit of equal opportunity.”

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 1,000 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 378 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit


Last Updated: 3/25/14