Ruth E. Stark, Ph.D. - 2012 Sloan Public Service Award Winner
Dr. Ruth Stark, distinguished professor of chemistry and acting dean of science at The City College of New York, is one of six extraordinary city employees to receive the 2012 Sloan Public Service Award. She was recognized Wednesday, March 14, at two ceremonies- on the CCNY campus and at Cooper Union- and was presented with the $10,000 prize that accompanies the award.
Dean Stark was honored for her contributions in bringing together talented scientists from complementary fields, for her excellence in mentoring and for being a role model to a generation of young women and men from diverse backgrounds.
In a video interview, Dean Stark credited CCNY’s and CUNY’s unique climate as a motivating factor: “The extra satisfaction of being at a public institution is that you can feel that you have unlocked something in students that was always there, but might not have come out to flower.”
Having defied convention to become a chemist at a time when few women entered the field, Dean Stark is an eminent scientist and an inspiring role model for hundreds of young men and women from diverse backgrounds. She earned her PhD in physical chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and completed her postdoctoral training at MIT.
After teaching at Amherst College, in 1985 Dr. Stark became an associate professor of chemistry at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) College of Staten Island and the institution’s first woman to build her own scientific research program. She became the founding director of the CUNY Macromolecular Assemblies Institute in 2003 and was promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2005.
She and her team moved to CCNY in 2007. In June 2010, Professor Stark was appointed acting dean of science, a position from which she will soon step down to focus on teaching and research.
The author of 95 highly cited scientific papers, the selection committee recognized Dean Stark for her unique ability to assemble talent across disciplines. She initiated a research coordination network for emerging biomolecular technologies that has evolved into a worldwide support group funded by the National Science Foundation.