Dr. Terry Bunde, professor of chemistry at Maryville College, was named the 2008 chair-elect of the East Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society (ETACS).
With membership of more than 600 chemists and chemical engineers living in an area that stretches from south of Kingsport to Oak Ridge to just north of Chattanooga, the ETACS is a segment of the larger American Chemical Society (ACS).
“The bulk of the members are researchers and educators from area colleges and universities and employees of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” said Bunde, who admitted he was reluctant, initially, to having his name placed on the ballot. But having finished a term as chairperson of the college’s Natural Sciences Division a few years ago, he said he felt ready to “serve in another capacity.”
“I certainly know I have some gifts to share, and I do feel that I have something to give back to an organization of which I have been a member for so long,” he said. “I may not have another chance to serve in this capacity.”
Bunde, who began teaching at the college in 1977 and is a 33 year member of the ACS, said his duties as chair-elect will include planning the section’s month-to-month activities and overseeing several outreach initiatives for K-12 schools and for safety. Early next year, he will attend the ACS Leadership Program in Dallas, where he expects to learn more about how he can effectively serve as chair-elect of the ETACS.
Similar to the mission of the ACS, the goals of each section include providing members with opportunities to enhance their professional development, network and contribute to the public’s understanding of the importance of chemistry.
“I have always enjoyed the responsibilities that the ACS places on its members to help interpret chemistry for the lay public as a way of giving back,” Bunde said. “Maybe I see this [chair-elect] role in that light.”
Among the ETACS’ activities are the S.C. Lind Lecture Series, which annually brings two prominent scientists to East Tennessee. In its nearly 60 years of existence, the series has hosted numerous Nobel laureates and other internationally known chemists.
In 2009, Bunde will begin his tenure as chair of the ETACS, during which he hopes to bring several of the lectures to the college. Maryville College has an affiliate ACS chapter for students, and he expects to involve it in section meetings and programming. The ETACS meets approximately nine times each year.
“The student chapter hosted a section meeting several years ago, and that was a great experience for them,” Bunde said. “It’s difficult for students who have early morning classes to attend evening meetings of the ETACS, especially when they are at venues far away. By having some of the meetings at MC, I hope we can have more students involved.”
Bunde has a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Florida. He completed post-doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine. In 1989, he was named Tennessee Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Twice, he has been presented the Outstanding Teacher Award at the college.