2021-22: Angela Henry
Dr. Angela Smith Henry, an Applications Chemist with Agilent Technologies, graduated from Chestnut Ridge High School in 2005. Upon leaving Chestnut Ridge, Dr. Henry attended Juniata College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry in 2009, and then Lehigh University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 2014. Her thesis was titled “Experimental and theoretical investigation of CO oxidation over unsupported AU nanoparticles.”
An outstanding student at Chestnut Ridge, Dr. Henry’s interest in pursuing Chemistry dates back to her freshman year. Part of her decision to pursue a rigorous discipline like Chemistry was inspired by teachers like Mr. James McElroy, Mr. Kevin Oldham, and Mr. Donald Kennedy, who endeavored to make science fun.
Presently, Dr. Henry resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and works in Wilmington, Delaware. Her work at Agilent Technologies involves partnering with internal and external colleagues to develop solutions and consumables to support applications in a broad range of industries. An example of her work involving screening for water pollutants can be viewed by clicking here. To describe her organization in an elevator pitch, Dr. Henry noted that “if you have ever watched NCIS and see the big white boxes in the lab, my company makes those and I optimize the parts and pieces that go into the boxes.”
The nature of her industry requires Dr. Henry to keep abreast of developments in her field. Whether reading scientific journals or continually striving to meet customer demands associated with emerging and innovative processes, a commitment to learning is necessary for her work.
When not engaged in professional endeavors, Dr. Henry enjoys non-science reading and podcasts, noting that her current choice is the “Make Me Smart” podcast on Marketplace. She is also active in an orchestra, which allows her to turn off her “science brain” and engage talents she developed in middle and high school through the Chestnut Ridge music program and continued with wind symphony while an undergraduate student.
When asked to provide advice to high school students, Dr. Henry offered the following thoughts:
You are only limited as much as you make yourself. Just because you are not in honors everything does not mean that success is not possible. You do not need to go to college to be successful. If you enjoy tinkering with electrical systems and electricity , be an electrician. Every job requires problem-solving. For example, plumbers must calculate flow rates and determine appropriate applications and solutions - they have to think about fluid dynamics just like a mechanical engineer.
Regardless of your path, there will likely always be someone smarter, better, or more talented, but you can find success if you work hard.