Meet the 2017 Board Election Candidates – Part 3: Interests & Achievements

Voting for next year's AIChE Board of Directors is under way as of August 28th at Have your say and help direct the future of AIChE by voting!

The Young Professionals Committee (YPC) asked potential members of AIChE's board four questions about Young Professionals and AIChE. They were asked to answer two main questions, and were given the option of choosing to respond to additional questions, so you may not see responses from every candidate for every question. Answers are shown in alphabetical order by position and the candidate's last name.

In addition to learning about the candidates here, you can also learn more about candidates and the election process on the AIChE election page

Q: Could you share something about yourself that people in AIChE may not know about you (personal interests, achievements outside of professional life, etc.)?

For President-Elect

John J. Ekerdt

I got hooked on running in high school when a new track and field coach made us run three to five miles every other day as part of our preseason conditioning. This was in the 60’s and the best we had was Chuck Taylors – long before they were a fashion accessory. I was on the shot-put squad, and for the record, it is generous to say I had a future in this event. Still, I kept at running through college and graduate school, when I eventually graduated to Nike waffle trainers. I ran because I was surrounded by roommates who were passionate about it and they needed someone to break up their training routine. After coming to UT, I found myself with a group of faculty and staff who ran at noon — every day except when there was an ice storm. I got talked into joining the long Sunday runs and soon found myself training for marathons. I eventually advanced through the age groups and, as the qualifying times increased with each passing five years, I managed to qualify for and run in two Boston Marathons. I am now a casual runner who rides a bike daily. Oh, I stay away from hard core cyclists so I do not get talked into training for races and rides.

See bio

Kimberly Ogden

This is a challenging question, what else do you want to know about me? I will highlight that I am able to multitask well. This is critical when you have a family and a professional life. It has always been important to me to spend time with my family. I may have published a few less papers because I was attending my children's sporting events or volunteering in their classrooms. Now my children are young adults. In addition to family activities, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and I sing in my choir (no solos however).

See bio

For Treasurer

Rosemarie D. Wesson

I love to travel. My goal is to travel to all seven continents. I have traveled to Europe, Asia, North America and have a trip planned to Africa. My next goal is Australia, followed by South America. Finally Antartica is the final continent on my bucket list. The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research in Antartica and I had hoped to have the opportunity to travel there when I worked at NSF. Now I will have to find a "tour group"!

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For Director

Kristi S. Anseth

 I grew up in a small town in northwestern North Dakota, Williston. One of the advantages of growing up in this type of community is that you are encouraged to get involved in all types of activities. I was a Williston High School Coyote, and I played four years of varsity basketball and volleyball. I dropped out of track after an unfortunate incident of getting hit by a discus (the injury only required a few stitches, but makes for a good story). I also played trumpet in my high school's band and traveled the US as part of the McDonalds All-American High School Band. Thirty years later, I still enjoy staying active, and living in Boulder, Colorado, provides numerous opportunities for hiking, downhill skiing, riding my bicycle, etc., albeit at a pretty casual pace.

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Raymond A. Cocco

Skiing is my passion and we try to do it as much as we can. I do like woodwork and have a small shop (man cave) in our home. I have taken lots of photographs from all over the world. I would not say I am a photographer but I have ambitions to be an amateur photographer. You can see what I have done here

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Anthony F. Fregosi

 I have been involved in a community-based service organization (Lions Clubs) nearly as long as my affiliation with AIChE. I have achieved many increasingly greater levels of leadership roles within this organization.

I have also been involved at different points in my life with hobbies such as scuba diving and snow skiing. I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel fairly broadly both within the US and abroad.

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Alon V. McCormick

Some might not know how long I’ve been involved in efforts to improve the professional climate of acceptance for people of diverse gender and sexual orientation. Back when we were in graduate school in the mid-1980’s, my (now-) spouse (a biologist) and I did not know many other LGBT+ scientists or engineers, and we started getting involved in that effort. I have been fortunate over the years to work with many colleagues who were either free of prejudice, or at least professional enough, so that I was able to make contributions to the profession. I owe it to the work of earlier generations and of allies that I was afforded such an opportunity, but some in my generation who were LGBT+ were not given such a chance. I have hoped to establish good professional relationships with all colleagues, to help cultivate and educate allies, and to promote the view that what all ChE’s share in our professional identity is best promoted by including the contributions and talent from all corners. Seeing the huge benefit of allies to my own experience helps me to be mindful of my responsibility to strive to be a respectful ally for others. I would like to help ensure that our profession strengthens its welcome for all diverse young professionals. 

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Lori T. McDowell

I am a certified scuba diving instructor and also a cave diver. I haven't been teaching or diving much since my son was born 13 years ago, but I have done over 1,000 dives in many different conditions (caves, wrecks, reefs, kelp, quarry, fossil) and taught over 500 students how to dive. I am also an avid Crossfitter.

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Timothy J. Olsen 

My wife is a horticulturalist, so I spend time with her outside in our yard maintaining flower gardens and landscape beds. It is a lot of work, but my wife always gets compliments. I am just the help, my wife is the one with all the design and creativity.

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Mark A. Stadtherr

 A few of my AIChE friends know this, but I think most do not know that my spouse (Joan Brennecke) and I are avid “birders.” While not as serious (or competitive) as some, we do sometimes make special trips for the chance to see uncommon birds. This past summer, we traveled to northern Michigan (around Grayling on the Lower Peninsula) to look for Kirtland’s Warbler. This is a species that was nearly extinct about 50 years ago, but due to intensive conservation efforts and habitat management, has now recovered to a total global population of about 5,000. With help from the local Audubon Society, we were able to locate and observe the bird on multiple occasions. On the same trip (after a wine tasting tour of the Old Mission Peninsula), we visited Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to look for Piping Plovers. This is another endangered species whose population is slowly recovering due to conservation efforts. We were able to observe Piping Plover nests and chicks. These experiences and others have made us really appreciate, and give our support to, the many organizations and individuals working on conserving our natural environment. Another thing that most of my AIChE friends probably do not know is that a hobby of mine is growing glads (I am a member of the North American Gladiolus Council). This is something that I picked up from my father, who grew and hybridized glads by the thousands for exhibition at local and state fairs and flower shows (as a kid I also went house to house selling glad bouquets to pick up a little extra spending money). With my recent move from Indiana to Texas, I will have to learn to deal with a different glad growing season.

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