Mary Good

    February 2006:

    Mary GoodOur featured woman chemist this month is a warm, friendly lady who is also a loving mother, wife and dotting grandmother. When asked what she was doing for the holidays she eagerly answered, "I'm flying to be with my son and his family for Thanksgiving and for Christmas I'm having everyone here." She has always been proud of her sons, which now includes her grandsons. When asked why she chose to start her career in academia, she said, "So my husband could finish his Ph.D." She enjoys interacting with students and especially discussing with the graduate students what they are discovering, learning and in students in general.

    When I asked her why she went into chemistry she replied, "I liked the labs! They are fun!" She got hooked on chemistry because she liked her College Freshman Chemistry teacher who was interested in students. Mary said "All women should serve as role models for students in academia and where ever we are. In academia we need to infect students with the idea that science and especially chemistry is FUN!" Her interesting plans for the future are to complete her current commitments with the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

    Most of us know the Chemist Mary L. Good by name, but I have tried to show that here is a warm human who is fun to talk to and be with -- whether visiting by phone, in the lobby, or over a bite to eat. Mary, if given a chance, likes to be with the women chemists. When she had been at Chemistry Day, there was a luncheon for both the dignitaries and one for Iota Sigma Pi members. Mary slipped into a chair by me at the Iota Sigma Pi luncheon and said, "I wanted to come be with my women friends and I skipped the lunch with the ACS officials". This was the current president of the American Chemical Society slipping in to eat at my table at the Iota Sigma Pi luncheon.

    For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Mary L. Good, the chemist, a brief sketch follows. She has had many titles, listed are a few of the titles and really three separate successful careers. First Dr. Good was in Academia as a college Professor of Chemistry at both the University of New Orleans and at Louisiana State University. From Chemistry she moved into Material Science. She held named chairs at both LSU and in New Orleans. Mary Good then moved into industry where she held positions as the President-Director of Research for Technology and Engineered Materials Research at Allied Signal and Vice President -Director of Corporate Research for UOP in Chicago. Her final industry role was as Senior Vice President for Technology at Allied Signal, where she was also a member of the Management Committee.

    We then found Dr. Good in government positions under Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Mary Good was Under Under-Secretary, Technology Administration of the US Department of Commerce. She held numerous positions involving National Science Policy, including Chair of the National Science Board. Currently, she is Dean of the College of Information Science and Systems Engineering at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, Donaghey University Professor.

    Dr. Good's Professional Memberships and offices held include: American Chemical Society - 50 year member, President, Board of Directors and Board Chairman; American Association for the Advancement of Science, President and Fellow; elected member, National Academy of Engineering; Royal Society of Chemistry (British) fellow; Royal Swedish Academy of Science; American Institute of Chemists; Sigma Xi, Iota Sigma Pi; Alpha Chi Sigma; Research Directors of Chicago Association; Catalysis Club of Chicago. Many of these organizations have bestowed honors on Mary Good. She is a holder of the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society, to name one of her many honors.

    Other Professional Activities and Board Memberships include: Advisory boards for NASA, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, National Bureau of Standards, NSF, Chemical Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Lab, Catalysis Program of Lawrence-Berkley Laboratory, and many more. She also sits on Corporate Boards, including Biogen Idec and Acxiom.

    This Texas native received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She has approximately 100 articles in referenced technical journals, several publications on science policy and one book. Her biography runs five pages in length.

    At one ACS meeting I heard her presentation on ruthenium chemistry. Another member of the audience stated at the end of her talk "Mary Good can present more facts in 20 minutes than most of us can do in an hour." Mary Good has accomplished much because she organizes her life and work and has capable people who help her. I count it as an honor to consider her my friend.

    — Written by Anne T. Sherren