Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli, associate department head and director of graduate programs in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science (TECS) at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State, has been named Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in recognition for her outstanding achievements in and contributions to the field and excellent volunteer service to the ACS community.
“I am so honored to be recognized in this way by ACS for contributions to the chemical sciences through my teaching, research and service,” she said. “Being a mentor for Project SEED students has been one of the most rewarding aspects! My ACS service has also helped me to hone my leadership skills and interact with many interesting scientists.” Project SEED helps guide the next generation of scientists through a summer research program that gives economically disadvantaged high school students the opportunity to work with scientist mentors on research projects in labs across the country.
Pasquinelli received the 2017-2018 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, the most prestigious award given to faculty for teaching excellence, and was recognized as an NC State University Outstanding Teacher in 2010. She is an NC State University Faculty Scholar and an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and leads the Laboratory of Multiscale Modeling from the Nanoscale, a research team working on “developing and utilizing computational tools for investigating nanoscale science and engineering applications, such as developing ‘smart’ and multifunctional materials.” The team’s research applications include interfacial science, sustainability/green chemistry and health and safety.
ACS was founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress; it now boasts 150,000 members in more than 140 countries and is the world’s largest scientific society. ACS states that it is “committed to addressing national and global challenges such as economic opportunity, energy and water availability, and environmental sustainability through the appropriate application of chemical science and engineering.” Pasquinelli is a member of the ACS regional chapter and has worked with Project SEED for over a decade.
“I’ve been an active volunteer with the ACS since college — our Chemistry Club at Seton Hill University, which was recognized as an ACS Outstanding Chapter, got me hooked,” said Pasquinelli. “I’ve also enjoyed taking ACS Leadership Development courses; one of my favorites that I still use regularly is ‘Engaging and Motivating Volunteers.’”
She is a member and secretary of the organization’s Committee for Environmental Improvement, and has been a leader with the North Carolina Local Section since 2007 — first Secretary, then Chair and now Councilor. She brings to the organization her philosophy of service and outreach: “Outside the classroom, I strive to be an effective advisor, mentor, and role model for students and research personnel,” she said on her research website. “I also enjoy serving in leadership roles within my institution as well as through my professional societies since I am passionate about making a difference for the common good.”