Dr. James D. Burke is the perfect example of an ACS Fellow for his outstanding achievements in, and contributions to, Science, the Profession, and the Society. Throughout his career, Jim consistently emphasized commitment to the Society and the dedication to move forward the positive aspects of chemistry to future scientists.
Jim received his BS in chemistry from Spring Hill College and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an NSF Predoctoral Fellow. After obtaining his PhD he was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University and then joined Rohm and Haas as a Senior Research Scientist.
One of Jim’s passions is encouraging others into the scientific field. While he began his career in synthesis and product development research, his true passion for recruiting and career development programs was eventually apparent as he accumulated 25 years of experience in technical recruiting. In 2001 Jim retired from Rohm and Haas, where he was manager of technical recruiting and university relations, with responsibility for scientific and engineering recruiting for his company’s US locations and for managing university relations programs. His unique ability to match individual talent with the technical culture at Rohm and Haas left a legacy of a superior research community that continues to thrive. He has frequently lectured on these and related topics at various campuses, college placement conferences, and ACS meetings. This dedication to helping others was also evident in his involvement with the Big Brother/Big Sister Association of Philadelphia for which he was recognized with the Charles Edwin Fox Distinguished Service Award in 1993.
Jim’s involvement with the ACS is well-known. He has worked at the local level of the ACS as a member of the Philadelphia Section. In 1991 he created The Graduate School Forum and through this his vision and actions have touched and molded countless young lives. Hundreds of students have benefited from this program. He continues to be a presenter of the ACS’s “Preparing for Life after Graduate School” workshop.
Jim was chair-elect, chair, and past chair of the Philadelphia Section ACS. Jim has been an ACS councilor, an ACS career consultant, and very active in his local section. He was Chair of the ACS Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs and the ACS Committee on Local Section Activities.
He served on the ACS Board of Directors and was a member of its Executive Committee, Planning Committee and Strategic Alliances Subcommittee, and Professional & Member Relations Committee. While on the ACS Board of Directors he served as chair (2004-2006). He also chaired the Society Committee on Budget and Finance (2003-2004).
Jim has been recognized within and outside of the Society for his accomplishments. His awards include the ACS Division of Professional Relations Henry Hill Award, the Philadelphia Section ACS Ullyot Award, the National Association of Colleges and Employers Employer of the Year Award, and the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers Honorary Life Member.
Above is only a snapshot of Jim’s career accomplishments and his many contributions to ACS. This is enough to give you a sense of why he was selected as one of the 2010 ACS Fellows.