Meet Kayla Kasper, a scientist at Owens Corning in Ohio and member of the National Younger Chemists Committee. Kayla’s profile is the first feature of “Meet the YCC”, a new series of blog posts to highlight YCC members and associates and what they do both in and outside of ACS.
Kayla Q. Kasper (she/her/hers)
YCC subcommittee: Communications (COM)
Other ACS Involvement: Councilor, ACS Columbus Section
B.S., Chemistry, The Ohio State University
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on creating a caucus within the ACS Council to increase awareness to younger chemists about what Council does and increase their representation within Council. I believe an important part of strengthening our society is ensuring we have a pipeline for the next generation of ACS leaders. Being a member of Council means you have a voice in how the society moves forward, I think it’s important that the next generation be a part of those decisions.
What is your favorite part about being on the YCC?
The people, without question. Members and Associates of YCC have made me feel incredibly welcome and cared for. When I had an issue come up at one of our meetings, someone stepped in and helped me without even asking. They are simply some of the best people I have met.
What is something you want every younger chemist to know?
I didn’t go to graduate school right after undergrad, and I received a lot of negative feedback for that. I was told that decision would limit me and the opportunities I would have. I am pursuing a master’s now, and there are many people around me that do not have advanced degrees and are excelling in their careers. I think when someone gives you advice or is negative, you should consider what their journey may have looked like. If they have X degree, they may see that as the only way to achieve your dream. The best advice I can give is to talk to people from diverse backgrounds when thinking about your career path. Remember that your success goes beyond just a degree and to always follow your passion.
What are your favorite things to do for fun?
Spending time with my friends and family. I have four siblings that I’m very close to, so getting together is always fun and a little chaotic with all their children. I also love being outside in nature. I grew up working at my family’s small business, Lazy River at Granville, a campground in central Ohio. Spending my summers working outside and playing with friends in the creek really grew my love for nature.