Emphasizing its role as a leader in supporting diversity among its students and faculty, the Brooklyn College Department of Chemistry will receive the 2021 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

This award reflects the success of the department’s longstanding commitment to recruiting and promoting women and faculty of color, which has led to a faculty body that is significantly more diverse than other chemistry departments nationwide. The college is also proud of the diverse population of students who have come through the chemistry program and have made successful careers in science and medicine.

According to the Open Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) project, 50% of the department’s faculty body are women, compared with 19.5% nationally. Likewise, 18.8% of the department’s faculty are from minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, compared with 5.9% nationally. Roughly 33% of current undergraduate majors in chemistry are members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences.

As a senior college within The City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn College has a total student body of 17,735 that mirrors the diversity inherent to New York City itself. Its student body is 28.7% white, 23.0% Hispanic/Latin, 21.9% Black, and 20.0% Asian, with individuals from 142 distinct countries that speak 94 different languages. Brooklyn College, the top public liberal arts college in the United States according to academicinfluence.com, is succeeding in its mission to provide transformative, distinctive, and affordable education to all students from all backgrounds.

“We thank the college administration, the campus community, and above all Brooklyn College students for their help in achieving this milestone,” said Chemistry Department Chair Mark Kobrak. “The department looks forward to continuing to work with all of you to open the world of science to all those who seek a place in it.”

The Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences is sponsored by the Committee on Minority Affairs of the American Chemical Society and recognizes individuals and/or institutions that have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences. Nominees for the award come from academia, industry, government, or independent entities.  They may also be organizations, including ACS Local Sections and Divisions. The nominee must have created and fostered ongoing programs or activities that result in increased numbers of persons from diverse and underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, or women who participate in the chemical enterprise.

The award was presented at the Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the ACS in an online ceremony on June 10. The ceremony also included Brooklyn College chemistry professor Brian R. Gibney, who received the 2020 E. Ann Nalley Middle Atlantic Region Award Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. Gibney is an ACS Fellow (Class of 2018) and associate director of education for the Brooklyn College Cancer Center.

About the American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society is a non-profit scientific organization with more than 140 years of experience.  The society is a champion for chemistry, its practitioners and its global community of members. Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, it is one of the world’s largest scientific organizations with more than 155,000 members in 150 countries. Its mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The society’s vision is to improve people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.