“There’s no correct path to being successful.”
Mary Kirchhoff (Photo: Linda Wang)
Mary Kirchhoff didn’t go about her education the usual way: she had four children before pursuing her Ph.D. She talks about what was “the most organized time” of her life and the importance of sticking to goals.
Kirchhoff is director of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Education Division. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and joined the chemistry department at Trinity College in 1992. She began working in green chemistry as an environmental fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a visiting scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s green chemistry program. Kirchhoff joined the ACS in 2001, serving as assistant director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute for three years before moving to the Education Division. Kirchhoff was elected an AAAS fellow in 2006.