Eleda Plouch has been awarded a 2022 Graduate Student Scholarship from the Georgia chapter of the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee (ACS WCC). The award recognizes one female-identified graduate student in Georgia who “demonstrates the qualities of a future leader in the chemical sciences.”
Eleda is a third-year student in the Blakey Lab at Emory, where she is developing a general method for the synthesis of RiPP natural products. Her work at Emory was previously recognized with an Honorable Mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
Prior to her graduate studies, Eleda earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hope College in Holland, MI. There, she worked with Prof. Elizabeth Sanford to study the phytochemistry of pioneer species.
Her primary research mentor, Dr. Simon Blakey, says: “Eleda has a track-record of academic excellence, a compassionate quality that underlies her commitment to community and service, and a fearless drive to innovate at the forefront of chemical research that elevates her from her peers and highlights her as one of the scholars most likely to have significant impact on society.”
Eleda’s impact derives in part from her passion for promoting equity of access to and encouragement in STEM. She currently serves on the board of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) at Emory where she has helped shape a “near-peer” mentorship program involving over 100 students and built a newsletter aimed at demystifying graduate school for undergraduates at primarily undergraduate institutions.
The Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society serves as a forum for women in chemistry and related professions to develop recommendations regarding issues of interest to women chemists, provide a means of increasing and improving participation of women in the chemical sciences and the Society, and to promote the recognition of women chemists.