NRL Retiree Honored by Chemical Society of Washington

2/21/2006 - 5-06r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

Marianne (Mia) K. Bernett, an NRL retiree, received the 2005 Community Service Award from the Chemical Society of Washington at the CSW Awards Dinner on December 8, 2005. The award celebrates her long-term commitment of time, energy, and expertise to cultural institutions of greater Washington.

Ms. Bernett has been recognized for her service to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (over 20 years as docent), the Washington National Opera (Silver Rose Award), the Kennedy Center (30-plus years as usher), Arena Theaters (more than 20 years), the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Summer Opera Company at the Catholic University of America.

Ms. Bernett was born in Vienna, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1938. She received her B.A. and M.S. degrees from New York University and subsequently taught chemistry courses at the Associated Colleges of Upper New York at Sampson, a forerunner of the New York State University system.

In 1948 she was recruited by the Navy Department to do chemical research at the Naval Powder Factory in Indian Head, MD, and in 1957 she joined the Naval Research Laboratory research team in surface chemistry, under Dr. William Zisman. Her body of work produced many publications in refereed journals, patents, presentations at scientific conferences and invitations by the Swedish Surface Chemistry Institute in Stockholm and the Universities of Zurich and Lausanne to present lectures and help with setting up laboratories. She retired from NRL in 1983.

Ms. Bernett joined the American Chemical Society in 1946, was awarded membership to the NRL Branch of the Scientific Research Society of America, and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Her love of travel has taken her over the years to much of Europe, Asiatic Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Japan, Thailand, Russia, and especially the Alpine ski areas in France and Switzerland.

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