2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

Ms. Rochelle Woods

Ms. Rochelle Woods, M.S. 1992

Rochelle is a seasoned corporate leader with a lifelong commitment to excellence in leadership, personal growth, and development. She retired from a successful 22 year career with The Dow Chemical Company in 2014. Most of her corporate career was spent in various positions in R&D (Research and Development) where she held technical and leadership roles in approximately 7 different businesses units. A few of her more memorable roles included product specialist, Technical Service and Development Leader and Intellectual Property Portfolio Development Leader. Rochelle is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

During her tenure at Dow, she participated in national recruiting efforts to recruit underrepresented minorities in technical roles. She was a founding member of the selection committee for BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent) Symposium which targets underrepresented technical PhDs and Post-Doctoral candidates for employment. The program consisted of a 3 day visit to Dow where participants were exposed to different businesses and their developmental programs. They also had an opportunity to interact with hiring managers, scientists and senior leaders.

Since her retirement, she has become an entrepreneur where she strives to help people achieve their fullest potential. She is a John C. Maxwell certified coach, speaker and teacher. Her clients include corporate professionals and small business owners. She draws from her experiences as a scientist, a people leader and her role as a Six Sigma Black Belt to add texture and depth to her encounters with clients. Besides 1:1 coaching, she facilitates Mastermind sessions where a group of people share their experiences as they commit to personal growth. The discussion is usually based on a John Maxwell book on leadership or personal growth. Rochelle is also a SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) mentor where she leads a Women’s Business Roundtable in partnership with a local banking establishment.

One of her desires as a professional, is to see as many talented and gifted minorities gainfully employed in the science and engineering fields, and to that end, she has previously chaired the annual NOBCChE Science Bowl for her region. Currently she is active with a program that targets young women that promotes self-esteem and strives to build self-worth through mentorship with biblical principles. Last but certainly not least, Rochelle is the wife of Leon Woods and has been happily married for over 30 years. The Woods have 3 wonderful adult children, Saul, age 24, Mariah, age 22, and Alexis, age 21. The children’s claim to fame is that they are all Texans. Rochelle and Leon are both native Ohioans. Rochelle holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an MS in Polymer Engineering from The University of Akron.