University of Arkansas Alumna Featured in Chemical Heritage Foundation Short Film Series in Arkansas Newswire

Mary Lowe Good

“Mary Lowe Good: A Chemistry Career in Three Parts” part of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Catalyst Film Series: Women in Chemistry.

April 30, 2013 - Fayetteville, AR

“Mary Lowe Good: A Chemistry Career in Three Parts” explores the career of University of Arkansas alumna Mary Lowe Good. The short film is one of eight included in the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Catalyst Film Series: Women in Chemistry. These vignettes feature the stories of successful women in a field that remains primarily dominated by men.  Good was chosen for taking risks and pioneering efforts that changed chemistry in the 20th century through her work in academia, industry and government and as a technology advisor to President Clinton.

“There’s been a lot of emphasis in later years on figuring out what you want to do and going for it, and the world’s not like that,” said Good. “You’ve got to take the opportunities as they appear, not worry so much about plotting out your life … and I think that’s really a big piece of it. It’s just being willing to take a chance.”

During her first semester as an undergraduate at the University of Central Arkansas, Good’s aspirations to become a home economics teacher were overshadowed by her first chemistry class. She changed her major to chemistry and went on to complete her graduate studies in the department of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Her research on radioactive iodine that was unsuccessfully being used to treat thyroid disorders led to stabilization of the radioactive isotopes through the addition of iodide, creating an improved treatment that is still used today.

After earning a master of science and doctorate in chemistry from the University of Arkansas, Good had a successful academic career as a professor at Louisiana State University, working on campuses in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Her academic career was cut short when she was approached by Universal Oil Products, a subsidiary of Allied Signal, to take on a position as director of research. Good continued an illustrious career with the company, eventually becoming senior vice president of technology for Allied Signal, now part of Honeywell International.

Good also served on the National Science Board under both the Carter and Reagan administrations and was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her Under Secretary for Technology for the U.S. Department of Commerce where she worked on military and government technological advancements and was at the forefront of making global positioning system technology accessible to the public.

Women in Chemistry may be viewed on the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s website. The film was released in February in honor of Women’s History Month.

Link to Arkansas Newswire.

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