Vanderbilt Trailblazer Dorothy Phillips receives lifetime achievement award

Dorothy J. Wingfield PhillipsBA’67, is being honored with a lifetime achievement award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.  

Dorothy Phillips poses beside her Trailblazer portraitPhillips, the first African American woman to receive aundergraduate degree from Vanderbilt, is a 2020 recipient of NOBCChE’s Lifetime Service Award. 

She will receive the award on Sept. 25 during the organization’s virtual conference for her significant contributions to the success and betterment of NOBCChE.

The nearly 50-year-old organization assists black and other minority students and professionals in the realization of their full potential in careers in chemistry, chemistry engineering and allied fields.  

Vanderbilt honored Phillips in 2017 by creating two Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor Faculty Fellowships to support mid-career faculty members who are leaders in diversity in STEM at the university. In addition, her portrait is on display at Kirkland Hall in recognition of her accomplishments as a Vanderbilt Trailblazer 

Phillips majored in chemistry, earning a bachelor of arts from the College of Arts and Science in 1967 and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1974. She began her industrial career at Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, where she received three patents. In 1984, she joined the Waters Corporation, an analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing company in Milford, Massachusetts, where she rose to global director of strategic marketing.   

A member of the American Chemical Society since 1973, she is serving her third term on the board of directors.  

Phillips recently wrote in Chemical and Engineering, a trade magazine published by the American Chemical Society, on the importance of partnerships among organizations within her field that share core values on diversity and inclusivity    

And during a recent interview published in the ACS Industry Matters newsletter, Phillips talked about the benefits of joining external organizations to advance one’s overall career developmentShe said that her volunteer roles in professional associations and other organizations enhanced her leadership skills and increased her networking opportunities.