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Abby O’Connor named “Rising Star” in chemistry

Abby O’Connor is a rising star among women in chemistry.

Abby O’Connor, associate professor in the department of chemistry, has been named a 2021 Rising Star by the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee.

O’Connor is one of only 10 women to earn the distinct honor, which recognizes exceptional early- to mid-career women chemists across all areas of chemistry on a national level. The award was established in 2011 to help promote retention of women in science.

“I am proud to be selected as a leader in my field, and the only award recipient from a primarily undergraduate institution,” O’Connor said. “It means so much to see that the work I have done at TCNJ both teaching and research with undergraduates in the area of sustainable, green chemistry and catalysis is being recognized at a national level. I look forward to continuing to mentor and inspire women to study and pursue careers in chemistry.”

O’Connor, a New Jersey native, has been at TCNJ since 2010 teaching a variety of courses including inorganic chemistry and a course focusing on sustainability and green chemistry.

“I am thrilled Dr. O’Connor has been recognized as a rising star,” said Amanda Norvell, interim dean of the TCNJ School of Science. “Through her research and focus on developing sustainable approaches for the production and recycling of chemicals, she has not only mentored undergraduate students in their development as researchers, but she has made significant contributions to the discipline.”

The Women Chemists Committee (WCC) serves the membership of the American Chemical Society with its mission to be leaders in attracting, retaining, developing, promoting, and advocating for women in the chemical sciences.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 150,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences.

— Luke Sacks