Sharon Vergez Vercellotti

    January, 2007:

    Sharon Vergez Vercellotti is President of V-LABS, INC., Covington, LA, a consulting, manufacturing, and analytical laboratory, specializing in carbohydrates and polysaccharides. This chemist works to solve problems for her clients in many ways including using carbohydrate chemistry.  In addition her job as President of a small consulting company involves many tasks from washing laboratory glassware to balancing the books. Sharon enjoys solving problems using her knowledge, helping people, meeting new people, and arriving at logical conclusions. She also enjoys helping people develop new products. 

    Sharon feels that women need to be involved in chemistry and science. She said, "Women can display talents and express themselves using their talents, and personal abilities to relate to people. Using their knowledge and instincts relating to people, women are able to solve problems effectively."

    This Louisiana native received her B.S. in chemistry from Louisiana State University and M.Sc. in chemistry from The Ohio State University. Sharon says she entered the field of chemistry because she liked science. She said that it was a toss up between chemistry and physics until she took freshman chemistry and enjoyed the labs and experimentation. Sharon says that her family instilled in her the love of science by questioning things: how things work, how things in nature occur and general curiosity. Mom was a public health nurse and Dad was working with soldering and welding in his machine shop. Science projects were always part of her growing up.

    Sharon is author of eleven scientific journal articles and one book chapter, and has given numerous national, regional, and local invited presentations.  She served as National Editor of the Iotan for Iota Sigma Pi from 1997 until 2002.  Sharon joined the Chlorine Chapter of Iota Sigma Pi in 1962 as an undergraduate, and served as its vice-president from 1991-95 and president 1995-97.  During her term, she instituted the program "Super Science Saturday" with an Iota Sigma Pi Minigrant. It was held three years at the Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans where children enjoyed all the hands-on experiments. She also led an Iota Sigma Pi teacher-in-service program in Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes with demonstrations and supplies for hands-on experiments with funding from the local ACS Section and from a member's Exxon grants.

    Sharon Vercellotti is a member of the Sigma Xi, honorary research society and the American Chemical Society Carbohydrate Division. She has been very active in the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses and has served as chair, chair elect, secretary and currently alternate councilor for this division. She has been President of the American Association of University Women of Louisiana, and Vice President of Board of Directors for the Louisiana Alliance for Biotechnology. She served as a member of the advisory committee the National Science Foundation's Industrial Innovation Interface (III) for five years from 1989-1994. She is listed in Marquis "Who's Who in Science and Engineering", and "Who's Who in America".

    In recognition of Vercellotti's contributions to chemistry she received the Iota Sigma Pi Award for Professional Excellence (1999).  In 2001 she received a grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for Iota Sigma Pi to use to help defray some of the costs of publishing the "Centennial History of Iota Sigma Pi". Anne Sherren (author of this WCC article) and Sharon Vercelloti were coeditors of this history.  In 2005 Sharon was included in the book "Successful Women in Chemistry Corporate America's Contribution to Science", ACS Symposium Series 907, edited by Amber S. Hinkle and Jody A. Kocsis. This book was sponsored by the ACS Women Chemists Committee and included 25 outstanding women.

    Since her founding of V-LABS in 1979, Ms. Vercellotti has served continuously as a mentor to a number of high school and college students at her laboratory. Many of the students have pursued studies and careers in the sciences. V-LABS' fourth Ph.D. student in chemistry graduated in 2006. Sharon has also given numerous demonstrations for local students and has participated in judging many local, regional, and state science fairs.

    Ms. Vercellotti and her husband John have two children, Ellen, an art teacher, and Paul, a computer engineer. Her hobbies are reading, gardening and cooking. She also enjoys yoga and having parties. John and Sharon enjoy attending professional meetings and the travel involved with this meeting attendance and often squeeze in a side trip to a near by place of interest.

    Her future plans include attending several professional meetings and putting some personal travel in with these meetings. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, cooking and having parties.

    — Written by Anne T. Sherren