Our Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network is expected to provide intellectual and programmatic leadership to the program and advise staff concerning the implementation of program goals. In an effort to ensure that the SSMN is for Sloan Scholars by Sloan Scholars, all but one board member is a Sloan Scholar. The Board will meet annually at the SSRC offices in New York to assist in planning activities and evaluating strategies to meet the needs of Sloan Scholars effectively. Board seats are renewable annually for three years.

Karin Block

Karin Block is a geochemist and Associate Professor at the City College of New York (CUNY) and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She is interested in the evolution of minerals in geobiological, geothermal and magmatic systems. Currently her main focus of research is on the interaction between microbes and clay minerals to better understand carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils, and the aggregation dynamics of clays and microbes in aquatic environments. In her high‐temperature research, she focuses on how mineral structure, chemistry, and rock texture can be used to reconstruct the crystallization history of mafic intrusions and extrusive flows in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). Karin earned an A.B. in literature, science and arts from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in earth and environmental sciences from the City University of New York. She was a Sloan Scholar from 2000 to 2006.


Steven Damo

Steven Damo is a Sloan Scholar PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. After postdoctoral positions at Weill Cornell Medical College and Vanderbilt University, he accepted an assistant professorship at Fisk University, a Historically Black University (HBCU). He also holds appointments as a member of the Center for Structural Biology and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University. His research interests are centered on understanding molecular mechanisms at the host-pathogen interface. His teaching interests focus on quantitative methods in the chemical and biological sciences. Graduate trainees in the Damo lab participate in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program, a national model for increasing the URM STEM pipeline (http://fisk-vanderbilt-bridge.org/). Dr. Damo also serves as the Associate Director of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC-hotlink) Program, a program funded by the NIH to provide tuition and stipend support for undergraduates interested in obtaining a PhD in the biomedical sciences.


Erick C. Jones

Erick C. Jones is the College of Engineering’s associate dean for graduate studies and professor in the Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA). Erick joined UTA in 2010 after eight years at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where he rose to the rank of associate professor. He is George and Elizabeth Pickett Endowed Professor of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering and served as deputy director of UTA’s SAVANT (Security Advances via Nanotechnologies) Center from 2013-15.

Erick is a proud African American male who was born in Houston, Texas, where he lettered in two sports (basketball and football), participated in drama and choir, and graduated cum laude.  His mother raising him and his intellectually disabled challenged brother on an educator’s salary convinced him to go to college and focus on academics as a pathway to success for the family. He graduated from Texas A&M University College Station as an Industrial and Manufacturing Engineer and worked for over ten years as an engineer while before pursuing a higher education at the doctorate level.

Some important highlights include that he has advised 35 graduate students of which 12 were PhDs. Of the PhD students advised, 46% were women, and 33% were URMs.  As an engineering educator, he has been a member of ASEE for over a decade with Division leadership positions of Chair, treasurer and secretary for Engineering Economics and Engineering Management Divisions. Erick is an Alfred P. Sloan Minority PhD Scholar and APS Program Center Director, US GANN PI, and along with other grants that have supported his efforts to support URMs to attain their graduate degrees, attain tenure track faculty positions and to attain tenure and promotion successfully.

Since 2015, Jones has served as a rotating program director for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Graduate Research Internship Program, and the Workforce Strand of the Education Core Research Program in the Education and Human Resources Directorate in Arlington, Virginia.


Ulises Ricoy

Ulises Ricoy received a PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Texas-San Antonio (Sloan Scholar) in 2007. He joined the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS) as an undergraduate and has been an active member since 1997. Prior to his appointment as Research Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona, he was the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Northern New Mexico College. At Northern, he built a strong (Problem Based Learning and Problem Oriented Learning) Science undergraduate program that values basic science research as an integral component of the learning journey (performed by undergraduates). He represents smaller institutions (rural and inner city) which in his view have been left out from national conversations about science. His philosophy is the application of Low Cost Approaches in STEM / Biomedical Science as a model for teaching and research in underserved areas. His research interests are in the neurobiology of model systems such as cockroaches to examine basic questions of locomotor behavior and physiology.


Renetta Garrison Tull

Renetta Garrison Tull was recently named the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at University of California, Davis where she continues to expand her #ThinkBigDiversity initiative. Before joining the UC Davis team, Tull served as the the Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the 12-institution University of Maryland System and was Special Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She was also the Associate Vice Provost for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Co-PI and Founding Director for the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) for the University System of Maryland (USM), and Co-PI of the USM’s LSAMP programs. Tull earned the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, the M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and Ph.D. in Speech Science from Northwestern University. Prior to work at UMBC, she was an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellow, and researched speech technology as a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also worked in with a start-up company, and technology development organizations. She has written about achievement in STEM, and is a mentoring consultant for Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and MIT. She is a Tau Beta Pi “Eminent Engineer,” co-leads the “ADVANCE Hispanic Women in STEM” project in Puerto Rico for faculty, and was the founding developer and moderator for the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions’ (LACCEI) “Women in STEM” forum.

An international speaker on global diversity in STEM, Renetta Garrison Tull has led discussions in India, Taiwan, Korea, Dubai, Italy, and Australia. She also co-leads the annual Women in STEM forum for the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) and the Organization of American States. Some of her recognitions include: 2015 O’Reilly Media “Women in Data Cover Girl,” 2015 Global Engineering Deans Council/Airbus Diversity Award Finalist, and the 2016 ABET Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity. Tull was named in Medium.com’s 2016 list of “Women in Science You Should be Following in Social Media,” and in the “List of 200 Women of Color on Twitter.” She was a 2017 invited speaker for UNESCO’s “Women in Engineering” forum at the United Nations, and is a Tau Beta Pi “Eminent Engineer.”


Cristina Villalobos

Cristina Villalobos is a Sloan Scholar PhD in Mathematics from Rice University. She is a Full Professor and Interim Director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley where she also serves as the Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education. Dr. Villalobos has extensive experience managing grants focused on diversity in STEM and providing professional development opportunities for students and faculty, including serving as co-PI for UTRGV’s NSF ADVANCE grant and the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.  Additionally, she is serving a three-year term as a Board of Director’s member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). She has received awards such as the 2013 University of Texas System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, a 2012 Luminary Honor from Great Minds in STEM, and the 2013 SACNAS Distinguished Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award. Dr. Villalobos is also a 1994 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow.


Darryl Williams

Science has always been an integral part of Darryl Williams’s life, which led him to pursue undergraduate and doctoral studies in chemical engineering. While as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in pediatric cardiology research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he confirmed his love for advocacy. He was selected as the executive director of iPRAXIS, a Philadelphia based nonprofit organization and was instrumental in developing strategies for the deployment of volunteer practicing scientists and engineers (Scienteers) into classrooms throughout Philadelphia to motivate K-12 students to pursue STEM-related careers. He has held positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a program director where he was charged to support the advancement of K-16 engineering education research as well as Dean of Undergraduate Education in Tufts’ School of Engineering and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Currently, Williams is the Senior Vice President of Education at the Franklin Institute. He is a Sloan Scholar PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park.



Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?