Ruth Woodall

Madison, TN, US
Field of Work 
STEM Education
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Job Title or "Student" 
AVP for Education and Workforce Development
Union Univeristy
BS in chemistry
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
Ruth serves as Associate Vice President for Education and Workforce Development for Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Ruth was born in Dyersburg, TN as the fourth child of an entrepreneur (farmer). Ruth grew up on a farm and learned the value of hard work and critical thinking. Ruth graduate from Trimble High School. Ruth attended Union University, Jackson, TN where she received a degree in Chemistry in 1977. She was named Alumni of the Year in 2004 from the Chemistry Department. Ruth earned a Masters degree in 1984 from the University of Memphis where she studied Science Education and Curriculum Design. She has completed 45 hours above her Masters and earned certifications in Volunteer Management, Fund Development, and Public Relations.

Ruth’s passion for the students and future workforce of Tennessee began as a teacher. Ruth taught Chemistry in Metro Nashville Public Schools, in Shelby County Schools, and in Dyer County Schools. She taught math at Halls High School. She led groups of students to study Chemistry in Russia and Siberia and Marine Biology and Zoology in New Zealand and Australia. Ruth has had many volunteer years experience with the American Chemical Society and other organizations, which makes her understand the value of volunteer service to ones success in life.

Ruth is beginning her 10th year as staff at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Ruth uses her background in education and her experience with working with business partners and collaborations to grow and sustain the education and workforce development programs of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Her primary responsibility at the Tennessee Chamber is to direct the growth and sustainability of the Tennessee Scholars initiative and serve as an advocate for education. Passion for the future of students and Tennessee has helped her to grow this program to be the primary high school/workforce development program in the state. The goal is that by the end of 2013 every high school student will be given the opportunity to graduate as a Tennessee Scholar. That means they will have taken the courses in high school and developed the critical workforce skills of time management, attendance, volunteer service, and team work that are necessary for today’s workforce. Her responsibilities include program management, fundraising, public relations, and data analysis.

Currently Ruth serves on and has chaired numerous local, state, and national educational and nonprofit boards of directors. She is public speaker, workshop presenter, and conference organizer. Among her many honors are Tennessee Distinguished Teacher of the Year, Tennessee Science Teacher of the Year, Chemistry Alumni of the year for Union University, E. Ann Nally Volunteer of the Year Award for Public Outreach, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math finalist, and recently awarded the honor of American Chemical Society Fellow distinction. Ruth is an active volunteer for the American Chemical Society, her church, United Way, numerous other non profits and spends numerous hours advocating for STEM education and workforce development.

Ruth recently was selected for one of the ACS's highest honors , The Helen Free Award for Public Outreach. Her outreach to girls and children of all ages helped her to win this award.
Pets, Travel
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
Field trip participation, Job shadow, Online role model
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Career exploration activities, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students, Identifying other role models
Program Affiliation 
NGCP Collaborative FabFem, Other
Other Program Affiliation 
Tennessee Scholars

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