ECBC Chemist Honored for STEM Outreach
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | February 23rd, 2018
David Love teaches local students about the physical sciences to help promote interest in STEM fields.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) conference, David Love, a chemist with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), received the Modern-Day Technology Leaders award for his commitment to STEM outreach and mentorship.
Active in the community, Love has mentored numerous Harford County students, and helps lead the Center’s STEM outreach, in addition to his daily responsibilities as a chemist and expert in fixed-site collective protection.
Love sees it as his responsibility to give back to the community in this way.
“It’s important that we provide opportunities for young people who are underprivileged and are minority students,” he said. “It’s important that we continue to expose young minority students to STEM. If you aren’t exposed to it, you don’t know it’s there. The more you expose them, the better the chance they will pursue it. That’s my responsibility – to expose young people to science.”
John Clayton, who supervises Love, wrote in his nomination that Love “has developed leadership skills and demonstrated a strong technical background,” in addition to his outreach and mentorship efforts.
In addition to ECBC’s STEM outreach, Love is actively involved with the Kids and Chemistry program. Over the years, this program has reached thousands of Harford County students.
Love is currently pursuing a master of science in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University. For his final project, he is designing a STEM ecosystem for women and minority students. The project aims at closing the skills gap in the STEM field.
“The objective of the system is to increase STEM awareness, interest, and relevancy through sports by using a mobile sports science lab,” Love explained. “Geared towards engaging women, minorities, and underrepresented communities, the lab will serve as the ecosystem’s hub for stakeholders, which include students, teachers, community parents and businesses.”
As a mobile lab, it will be able to engage elementary and middle school students in both urban and rural communities. The idea is to use sports like football and baseball to teach students about the physical sciences, like physics, chemistry, and biology.
“The mobile lab programs will focus on elementary and middle school students and teachers for those schools whose access to science equipment may be difficult to acquire or maintain,” Love said. “This mobile system will help ensure students in underrepresented communities will learn, know and understand more about STEM and technological literacy.”
Love also mentored an electrical engineering student from Prairie View A&M University through Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Thurgood Marshall Mentoring Program.
“Not only is David an exceptional chemist, but he’s a true team player, a mentor and a strong leader,” Clayton said. “David excels in his day-to-day responsibilities, but he goes above and beyond to give back to the community. What he does for the community is remarkable, and we’re fortunate to work with such a compassionate person.”
Love’s work in the office and the community has earned him the admiration of his colleagues at ECBC.
“David is a wonderful person,” said Mary McNally, a chemist who works with him. “He’s the type of person that truly cares about you and how you’re doing, not only from a career standpoint, but actually how you’re doing. He mentors you. He helps you not only with your job, but with life. He brings smiles to people. He’s a very uplifting person.”
A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, Love attended Waterbury State Technical College, where he received his associate’s degree in chemical engineering, and Central Connecticut State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He has a master’s in business administration from Central Michigan University, and is pursuing his master’s in systems engineering at Johns Hopkins, with an expected graduation in 2018.