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SACNAS Honors Distinguished Awardees at 2017 National Diversity in STEM Conference

October 13, 2017

Yamila Pino, or 202-440-1432


Awardees to be recognized October 20 at 2017 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference in Salt Lake City

SANTA CRUZ, CA – SACNAS is pleased to announce the winners of the SACNAS Distinguished Awards at the 2017 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC) in Salt Lake City, UT from October 19-21, 2017. This year’s awardees exemplify the SACNAS mission by showing an unmatched dedication to excellence in science, mentoring, and teaching. These outstanding individuals were nominated by those who have been touched by their work and selected by a committee of their peers.

“One of the barriers many SACNAS students face is limited support and programming to set them up for future success in their respective STEM field. This year’s awardees are helping level the playing field for underrepresented minority scientists through their exceptional work, as is the case of Dr. Robert Fuller, and mentoring support as led by Dr. Cynthia Wyels. Both Dr. Fuller and Dr. Wyels are inspiring SACNISTAS who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in their respective endeavors, which is why we are honoring them during the 2017 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference,” said Dr. Lino Gonzalez, SACNAS President.

“I delight in the accomplishments of a growing cadre of extremely talented students and colleagues who honor me by sharing their dreams, their struggles, and their successes. It’s a team effort as we support one another in building a more inclusive and just world, in STEM and beyond,” said Dr. Cynthia Wyels, recipient of the 2017 SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award.

“I see this award as recognition of the efforts we – students and faculty – are making at the University of Michigan to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive scientific community devoted to realizing the potential we all have to make a difference,” said Dr. Robert Fuller, recipient of the 2017 SACNAS Distinguished Scientist Award.

Jacqueline Graniel, one of Dr. Fuller’s doctoral students, will co-present the award with Carla Ramos. Graniel and Ramos are co-founders of the University of Michigan SACNAS chapter, which was recently featured in an article by The Atlantic on campuswide diversity.

“When the time came to nominate a faculty member from the University of Michigan who represents excellence in research, education and service there was no question in our minds that Dr. Robert Fuller was the top candidate. Having already dedicated 30+ years of his life to science, he continues to be a force of nature progressing the field of biochemistry and doing his part to increase the numbers of historically underrepresented minorities in higher education STEM here at the University of Michigan,” said Graniel.

“We are incredibly honored to present this award to him as a token of the love and support we have for him for excellence as Professor, Director and SACNAS chapter advisor,” added Ramos.

Since the SACNAS Distinguished Awards program was initiated in 1997, the organization has honored over 80 scientists, educators, and program directors for their commitment to, and personification of, SACNAS’ mission to help Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.

2017 SACNAS Distinguished Scientist Award

Robert S. Fuller, Ph.D
Professor of Biological Chemistry, Director Cellular and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Dr. Fuller received a B.S. from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University in 1984, where he trained with Arthur Kornberg, researching replication of oriC and the role of DnaA protein. As a postdoctoral fellow with Jeremy Thorner at U.C. Berkeley, Dr. Fuller studied yeast Kex2 protease, the prototype of a family of proteases required for maturation of proproteins, prohormones, neuropeptides precursors. In Dr. Fuller’s laboratory at Stanford and later at the University of Michigan, research has aimed at the specificity, mechanism and inhibition of the proprotein convertases enzymes and on localization of membrane proteins to trans Golgi Network (TGN). Dr. Fuller has been active in graduate education throughout his career and since 2012 has been Director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program at the University of Michigan.

2017 SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award

Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D
Professor of Mathematics, California State University Channel Islands

Dr. Cynthia Wyels found her way to SACNAS through directing her campus’ LSAMP program. She and colleagues at CSU Channel Islands developed a minority-serving REU program emphasizing community, mentoring of students and early-career faculty, and social justice along with intensive mathematical research. To date, Dr. Wyels has guided more than 75 students through significant research projects. Working with students from populations underrepresented in STEM, she recognizes the value of SACNAS ethos and practices and works to incorporate these at her institution. Dr. Wyels collaborated on two 5-year Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM grants worth $6 million. The first built academic support programs for STEM students, emphasizing practices and culture supportive of Hispanic and low-income students. Currently she is working to infuse student-centered pedagogies throughout Calculus regionally and to overhaul developmental mathematics. Dr. Wyels is exceedingly grateful to her students and her SACNAS family throughout the country for all they teach and share with her.

Click here for more information on the 2017 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference, including the agenda-at-a-glance.

View SACNAS’ fact sheet and follow the organization on social media and conference updates via #SACNAS2017: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube.

SACNAS is an inclusive organization with a 44-year history of fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic & Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership in science.

SACNAS serves approximately 6,000 members, a larger community of 20,000, and with 115 SACNAS student and professional chapters throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.


13 de octubre de 2017

Yamila Pino, or 202-440-1432

Los galardonados serán reconocidos el 20 de octubre durante la Conferencia de SACNAS 2017 sobre la Diversidad en Áreas STEM

SANTA CRUZ, CA – SACNAS se complace en anunciar los ganadores de los Premios Distinguidos que serán otorgados durante la Conferencia Nacional 2017 de SACNAS sobre la Diversidad en STEM en el Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC) del 19 al 21 de octubre de 2017 en Salt Lake City, UT. Los galardonados este año personifican la misión de SACNAS al mostrar una dedicación inigualable a la excelencia en las ciencias, mentoría y docencia. Estos individuos ejemplares fueron nominados por aquellos impactados por su trabajo y elegidos por un comité de sus colegas.

“Una de las barreras que muchas estudiantes de SACNAS enfrentan son limitaciones en cuanto al apoyo y programación disponible para ayudarlos a ser exitosos en su campo respectivo. Los galardonados de este año, Dr. Robert Fuller y Dra. Cynthia Wyels han trabajado para nivelar el campo, ayudando a científicos minoritarios a través de su trabajo excepcional. Tanto Dr. Fuller como la Dra. Wyels son SACNISTAS que inspiran, demostrando una excelencia sin precedentes en sus respectivos campos de trabajo y es por esto que los honraremos durante la Conferencia Nacional 2017 de SACNAS sobre la Diversidad en STEM”, afirmó el presidente de SACNAS, Dr. Lino González.

“Me enorgullece los logros de un creciente grupo de estudiantes y colegas extremadamente talentosos quienes me honran al compartir sus sueños, luchas y éxitos. Apoyarnos los unos a los otros es un trabajo de equipo para lograr construir un mundo más inclusivo y equitativos, no sólo en áreas STEM sino en otros campos también”, aseveró la Dra. Cynthia Wyels, ganadora del Premio SACNAS 2017 para Mentor Distinguido.

“Para mí, este premio es un reconocimiento del esfuerzo que hacemos colectivamente los estudiantes y profesores en lograr que la Universidad de Michigan fomente y mantenga una comunidad científica diversa e inclusiva que pueda aprovechar todo el potencial que tenemos para hacer la diferencia”, añadió Dr. Robert Fuller, ganador del Premio SACNAS 2017 para Científico Distinguido.

Jacqueline Graniel, una de los estudiantes doctorales del Dr. Fuller, hará entrega del premio junto con Carla Ramos. Graniel y Ramos son co-fundadoras del grupo estudiantil de SACNAS en la Universidad de Michigan, el cual recientemente fue nombrado en un artículo de The Atlantic sobre la diversidad en ese campus.

“Cuando llegó la hora de nominar un profesor de la Universidad de Michigan que represente la excelencia en investigaciones, docencia y servicio comunitario no cabía la menor duda que el Dr. Robert Fuller era el mejor candidato. Habiendo dedicado más de 30 años de su vida a las ciencias sigue siendo parte del movimiento que está impulsando el campo de la bioquímica a la vez que trabaja para aumentar la cantidad de científicos minoritarios en la educación superior en la Universidad de Michigan”, recalcó Graniel.

“Estamos muy honradas de poderle presentar este premio al Dr. Fuller como señal del aprecio y apoyo que sentimos por él, por su excelencia como profesor, director y asesor del grupo estudiantil SACNAS”, añadió Ramos.

Desde que el programa de Premios Distinguidos de SACNAS se creó en 1997, la organización ha premiado a más de 80 científicos, docentes y directores de programa por su compromiso con, y personificación de, la misión de SACNAS en ayudar a científicos hispanos y nativoamericanos a lograr títulos avanzados, desarrollar carreras y obtener posiciones de liderazgo en el campo de las ciencias.

Premio SACNAS 2017 para Científico Distinguido

Robert S. Fuller, Ph.D
Profesor de Química Biológica, Director del Programa Doctoral de Biología Celular y Molecular, Universidad de Michigan, Ann Arbor

Premio SACNAS 2017 para Mentor Distinguido

Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D
Profesora de Matemáticas, Universidad Estatal de California Channel Islands

Para más información sobre la Conferencia National 2017 sobre la Diversidad en Áreas STEM, incluyendo la agenda digital, haz clic aquí.

Mira la hoja de datos de SACNAS (en inglés), sigue la organización en las redes sociales y recibe actualizaciones relacionadas a la conferencia con el hashtag #SACNAS2017: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube.

Acerca de SACNAS
SACNAS es una organización inclusiva con una trayectoria de 44 años promoviendo el éxito de científicos chicanos/hispanos y nativoamericanos desde la educación superior hasta lograr títulos avanzados, establecer carreras y obtener posiciones de liderazgos en las ciencias.

SACNAS atiende una membresía de aproximadamente 6 mil personas y una comunidad extendida de 20 mil personas, además de representar a 115 grupos estudiantiles y profesionales a través del país y en Puerto Rico.