Chemical Educational Foundation Names Dow Retiree Larry Sernyk First-Ever You Be The Chemist Community Champion of the Year!

Dr. Larry Sernyk Recognized as Community Champion for Devotion to Chemistry Education

New in 2018, the Community Champions Program celebrates the on-going support that the chemistry industry provides to elevate the role of science and chemistry in learning and life. You Be The Chemist relies on program sponsors and their employees to implement programs in local communities nationwide. CEF is proud to spotlight individuals and companies who have shown their commitment to students, educators, communities, and chemistry. There are 14 Community Champions in 2018.

CEF Executive Director presents the 2018 award to Dr. Larry Sernyk (credit: CEF)

Additionally, just one Community Champion of the Year is named, and the 2018 distinction is awarded to former Dow AgroSciences Canola Breeder and Project Manager, Dr. Larry Sernyk. 

Dr. Sernyk shares a lifetime’s knowledge of chemistry with his community through his involvement with You Be The Chemist. Among many other professional accomplishments, he organized the Dow AgroSciences’ Science Ambassador group to increase the impact of the company in local communities, before joining You Be The Chemist. Building on Indiana’s State You Be The Chemist Challenge, Dr. Sernyk was instrumental in adding eight Local Challenges across the state.

“CEF is thrilled to name Dr. Larry Sernyk our 2018 Community Champion. We are very fortunate to have Larry bringing chemistry to life for students in his community – not every middle schooler gets the chance to perform hands-on experiments during class or have an educator with such extensive background in chemistry,” said CEF Executive Director Dwayne Sattler.

In both his professional and volunteer roles, Dr. Sernyk has contributed to the greater good.

(© 2018 – Kelly Michaels/Kelly Nicole Creative)

Dr. Sernyk’s discovery and patent of omega-9 canola oil reduced unhealthy trans-fats in food products, and his subsequent development of insect-resistance in cotton meant the crop needs less insecticide. Knowing that a curious mind is a tool that lasts throughout a career and into retirement, Dr. Sernyk instills the same curiosity in his students as his mentors did for him. Through his involvementin You Be The Chemistand avid volunteerism, Sernyk has given students the same opportunity and encouragement for learning he experienced. It’s that inspiration through hands-on exploration that Sernyk hopes to introduce to help develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow.

Read the full media release about Dr. Sernyk’s Community Champion of the Year Award here.

In addition, all 14 identified Community Champions in 2018 are:

  • Callie Ayers, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Kevin Benner, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Molly Borst, BASF Corporation
  • Stephanie Carouthers, BASF Corporation
  • Steve Cornwall, ICL Performance Products, LP
  • Melinda Einsla, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Calvin Emanuel, Shell Chemical Company
  • Dawn Hamilton, BASF Corporation
  • Magan Lewis, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Bryan Page, Brenntag North America, Inc.
  • Greg Roop, Horn
  • Larry Sernyk, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Lolita Tillery-Grant, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Tim White, Univar

Stay tuned for more updates with stories about our 2018 Community Champions!