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William R. Shiang, (BS 1983, Ph.D. 1988)

William R. Shiang, (BS 1983, PhD 1988) may be considered as an archetypical UMSL success story. He was a typical UMSL recruit; older at the time of his decision to go back to school (29). He started out at Florissant Valley Community College and was very successful in Chemistry Technology, earning his Associate’s degree. Dr. Donna Friedman, Chemistry Chair and UMSL alum (PhD 1979) talked him into going further for his bachelors. He was able to combine a very challenging balance of working full time and going to school full time, thanks in large part to the flexible schedule options at UMSL. Once he obtained his BS degree, he joined the PhD program and completed his PhD degree with Rudi Winter. Again, the flexibility of the university helped him manage his father’s death and taking over his father’s business full time, yet continuing his education (until a year later when it was finally sold). Bill was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State and recruited by Dow Chemical Co. He has had a remarkable career in industry and was awarded 20 patents, and worked in Michigan, Zurich Switzerland (3 years) and Shanghai, China (5 years). In large part his success was because of his unique skill sets. He has the language and Asian cultural understanding, but in addition he has the chemistry and manufacturing technical abilities, emotional and professional maturity and played a key role in the establishment of Dow’s presence in Asia.