Saturday, July 19, 2014

Deva Hupaylo: Nobel Prize 'Winner'

Deva Hupaylo and Colleagues
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Mr. Richard Irby, editor of my hometown's Area Wide News, has an article on my old friend Deva: "Deva Hupaylo started with a Salem diploma; worked up to the Nobel Peace Prize" (Wednesday, July 16, 2014). Although I blogged on this when the prize was awarded, Mr. Irby has more details:
From horse and buggy days and one room school houses to today's tech filled school rooms, many north central Arkansas youth have gone from humble, rural beginnings to distinguish themselves.
Good hook in that opening line, and another good hook follows:
But Salem High School graduate Deva Hupaylo is surely the first to have a Nobel Peace Prize on her resume.
Now that Mr. Irby has us doubly hooked, he reels us in:
"It's a medallion and it's real gold," Hupaylo said . . . , showing a photograph taken after the OPCW -- the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons -- was given the prestigious award on Oct. 11, 2013 . . . . "I have a chocolate one they gave us [employees]. They are preparing replicas for us . . . [but] ours will not be gold" . . . . Deva Hupaylo graduated from Salem High School in 1976, began studying engineering at the University of Arkansas because she was good in math and science and has had a long, successful career as a chemical engineer . . . . In 2010, Hupaylo, who has three grown sons, moved to The Hauge, a capitol city in the Netherlands, to work for the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons . . . . To high school classmate, Dr. Griffin Arnold, that sounds like the Deva Hupaylo he knows. "She was always very organized and determined. She has a way of making things she wants to happen. I am happy for all she's accomplished but not surprised."
Nor am I surprised at her accomplishments. Well, okay, I was a bit surprised about the Nobel award, and I wondered what Deva's precise role was. Mr. Irby clarifies that:
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons works to eliminate existing chemical weapon supplies and make sure they do not re-emerge, by getting countries to sign a treaty and give up any chemical weapon supplies they have. Hupaylo is the head of the Industry Verification Branch. She leads a division of 120 inspectors who work, once chemical weapons are removed from a country, to make sure new supplies are not manufactured. They monitor and actually inspect chemical industries in 190 countries to make sure chemicals that can be turned into weapons are being used correctly.
And Deva has some good words for our school:
Hupaylo credits Salem schools . . . . [and] some very good teachers who encouraged them, and other teachers who motivated them through "fear and dislike," to excel.
I know those teachers, too, but no names . . .
During her visit to Arkansas, she stopped in to give some advice to Salem High School's eighth grade careers class. "I told them to get as much education as soon as possible" . . . . [And she added,] "You should not be working for money. You should be working for something that you believe in, that you enjoy doing."
Pretty good advice, generally speaking, though I think that I ought to have been a bit more fastidious about money.

For more on Deva, read the full article.

UPDATE: Deva sent me a correction of a slight inaccuracy: "'She leads a division of 120 inspectors'. I don't lead the inspectors division. I have 8 Substantive Officers. We plan the missions that the inspectors conduct, while they are actually managed in a separate division."

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At 10:11 PM, Blogger Shannon Hodges said...

Very impressive!

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yes. Now, I want one!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic, thanks for the post and the article link, Jeff. Great to "hear from" Inez there, too; along with Deva herself, one of my favorite people in my life. CPH

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suspect you're one of her favorite people, too.

But when are you planning to get your Nobel Prize?

I'm expecting mine any day now for my BBB!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lordy, let's not be holding our breath over that! I can at least, though, claim to be working directly with one (Nobel winner that is; Physics 2005) currently on a program here at little Beyond Photonics; a great old friend of ours from way back here in the Front Range (a somewhat freakish hotbed of Nobelists, around here). When we asked him how much he'd charge to work for us, he said, "Well, if you want me sit on committees and attend meetings and review other peoples' work, it's $500/hr; if you want me to go home and do actual work in my shop, it'll be $250/hr"--ha! and he wasn't really kidding, either. He's a great guy. I highly recommend these Nobel people, seriously :)

At 4:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I once saw a Nobel Prize medal -- I was working at a bank in Palo Alto, and the wife of a professor at Stanford showed me her husband's medal, which they kept in a strongbox in the bank.

Jeffery Hodges

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