Sloan Scholar Achievements Update – February 2017

Deji Akinwande, Stanford University Sloan Scholar and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, was named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2016. Dr. Akinwande leads the Nano Research Group at UT Austin and was also named an Inaugural Moore Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in November. As a Moore Inventor Fellow, Dr. Akinwande will receive $825,000 over three years to support his research on an atomically thin 2D-silicon structure known as silicene. Congratulations on your successes, Dr. Akinwande!

Cullen Buie, Stanford University Sloan Scholar and associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was also awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2016 by President Barack Obama. Read more about Dr. Akinwande’s and Buie’s PECASE awarded research here.

2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers winners. Deji Akinwande is one row behind President Barack Obama and three people to the left of the President. Cullen Buie is in the last row directly behind President Obama. Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson.

Ulises Ricoy, University of Texas San Antonio Sloan Scholar, has been named the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Northern New Mexico College (NNMC). Dr. Ricoy previously served as Interim Dean at NNMC. Congratulations, Dr. Ricoy!

Unoma Okorafor, Texas A&M Sloan Scholar PhD, is the founder of the Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation, which won the GEM-TECH award in November. The GEM-TECH Awards highlight outstanding contributions in advancing gender equality and inclusivity in the digital world. The recipients are named in part by UN Women. The WAAW Foundation was recognized for its STEM campus for young girls in ten African countries, coding workshops, and outreach and training programs.

Ana Le Murillo

’16 Sloan Scholar PhD in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University, Anarina Le Murillo (right) accepted a postdoctoral position in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Get to know Dr. Le Murillo, including what she would advise graduating Sloan Scholars in our Scholars Spotlight piece.

Michael Martinez-Colon

Michael Martinez-Colon (left), University of South Florida Sloan Scholar, began a new position as an Assistant Professor in the School of the Environment at Florida A&M University in the fall. Dr. Martinez-Colon also developed a webinar for the SSMN on “Transitioning into a Tenure Track Position (plus Negotiating Tips).” Head over to our library to view it!

Damena Agonafer, Sloan Scholar PhD from the University of Illinois, started a new position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Agonafer recently completed a postdoctoral appointment at Stanford University and is the Principal Investigator for the Nanoscale Energy and Interfacial Transport lab.

Illya Hicks, Rice University Sloan Scholar PhD and associate professor in the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department at Rice, was recently named Faculty Advisor to the President at his university.

Sindia Rivera-Jiménez, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Sloan Scholar, recently accepted a position at the University of Florida as the Assistant Director for the Integrated Product and Process Design program in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Congratulations, Dr. Rivera-Jiménez!

*We would like to share your successes with your fellow Sloan Scholars, so if you are celebrating a recent career accomplishment, let us know! Sloan Scholars are doing great things!



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