Reasons to Believe

Cynthia Spencer
Visiting Scholar Date: May 2016

Cynthia received a BS in chemistry in 1979 from Howard University. Marrying her college sweetheart, they moved to Pascagoula, MS in 1979. After working as a lab technician for two years, she returned to school to receive her master’s in polymer science in 1985 and her PhD in 1987 from Carnegie Mellon University.

At the start of her polymer career she worked for ICI Films Division in Hopewell, Virginia. Later she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, where she worked for Stockhausen Inc. developing emulsion-based polyacrylates for wastewater treatment. It was in Greensboro that Cynthia started working with the local chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) as chapter secretary in charge of the newsletter. She also initiated the Women’s Chemist Committee for the chapter.

Cynthia moved with her family to Warner Robins, Georgia, in 1999 where she started her teaching career. She taught at Mercer University as an adjunct before taking a full-time position at Fort Valley State University. Cynthia continued her affiliation with the local ACS in Atlanta, where she worked with the Chemistry Olympiad program. Later, with the support of the Mercer University chemistry department, she helped launch a local chapter of ACS in Middle Georgia.

Throughout Cynthia’s teaching career she has worked in public schools as well as at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She currently teaches part-time at Brunswick Community College and online at Ocean College. She also consults as a visiting researcher at North Carolina State University where she uses her expertise in liquid crystalline polymers and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in the textile division.