National Award for Service to Ms. Zaida Morales-Martinez

Portrait of Zaida C. Morales-Martínez

Zaida C. Morales-Martínez, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Florida International University, was selected as the recipient of the 2011 American Chemical Society (ACS) National Award for Volunteer Service to the Society. ACS is the largest scientific organization in the world with over 150,000 members. Zaida has been a member of ACS since 1962 and an active volunteer since 1986 when she was elected councilor of the Florida Local Section; a position she held until 1992 when she became an elected councilor of the newly formed South Florida Local Section. Zaida has been an active and visible volunteer at the local level being founder, together with the late Dr. Howard Moore, of the "Third Grade Demonstration Project" that for over 10 years had high school and college chemistry teachers and students delivered hands-on activities and demonstrations to over 1000 elementary students in South Florida schools every year. Zaida has been a key figure advancing diversity issues in the ACS. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Society’s Committee on Minority Affairs and the ACS Scholars program for which she is the mentor coordinator. She has been a strong supporter and the coordinator of Project SEED at FIU for six years including being a member of the Project SEED national committee for nine years. Project SEED, places financially disadvantage students in research settings during the summer. The ACS Scholars Program has awarded over 2500 scholarships to minority students in the chemical sciences celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. In this area, Zaida works countless hours communicating with ACS Scholars, finding mentors at their institution of studies, and following up in their career advancement until graduation and beyond. For her commitment to the advancement of minority students in the chemical sciences, Zaida was the recipient of ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences sponsored by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation in 2004. Zaida has also being a member of the ACS Scholars Selection Committee since its inception in 1995, Consultant of the Younger Chemist Committee, member of the International Activities Committee, and the Program Review Advisory Group for four years. She is at the moment a member of the Membership Affairs Committee and the ACS representative in the Selection Committee of the National Consortium for Graduate Education for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM), the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Zaida has been a key figure in advancing diversity issues in ACS and other organizations. In 2002 she received the Distinguished Service Medallion from FIU. Volunteering and helping others is what Zaida does best. Congratulations to Zaida C. Morales-Martínez for her many years of giving her time, love and wisdom to the advancement of the chemistry profession.