The Tyler Junior College Department of Chemistry has scheduled events celebrating National Chemistry Week, an annual a public awareness campaign that promotes the value of chemistry in everyday life.
This year’s theme, “The Healing Power of Chemistry,” highlights chemistry’s crucial role in formulating the medicines we take when we get sick, developing the vaccinations we roll our sleeves up for, and testing the blood samples that we provide at our doctors’ offices.
The theme also recognizes the tremendous advances made by medical professionals and scientists with inspiration from ancient peoples’ habits, from plants and animals in the wild, and from our own bodies’ mechanisms to prevent, fight, heal and restore us to health.
TJC will host two guest speakers during the week, sponsored by the East Texas Local Section of the American Chemical Society. The events are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, Oct. 17
• ‘Advanced Recycling Applications Around the World’ — noon-1 p.m., Room 200, Genecov Science Building, TJC central campus
Shelby Browning works as a chemical engineer for Eastman Chemical Company in Longview. She serves as vice president of the NGO Empowered Solutions for Environmental Sustainability (ESES), which aims to combat global plastic accumulation by empowering micro-entrepreneurs to convert plastic trash to fuel oil.
Browning graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Master of Arts in applied environmental and sustainability studies.
Thursday, Oct. 19
• ‘Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet’ — 6:30-7:30 p.m., Apache Rooms, Rogers Student Center, TJC central campus
Dr. Katie Root will discuss the multiple proven health benefits of a plant-based diet, including those related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. She will also discuss the impact of the gut microbiota and dietary intake on chronic disease as well as ways to implement a plant-based diet.
A Tyler native, Root graduated from Chapel Hill High School and earned her Bachelor of Science in forensic science from Baylor University. She then worked in biomedical research at UT Health Science Center before attending Ross University School of Medicine.
She began practicing primary care at East Texas Medical Center in 2013, earned board certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine and became associate program director for the UT Health Science Center’s internal medicine residency program in 2020.
In 2021, she went into full-time academics and earned her Master of Health Administration. She is an assistant professor of medicine and serves as program director for the UT Tyler Transitional Year residency program.