Texas A&M University Regents Professor of Chemistry and Cyclotron Institute Director Dr. Sherry J. Yennello has been selected as one of three Team Leaders for the United States Delegation to the 7th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP 2020), set for July 13-17 in Melbourne, Australia.
Every three years since 2002, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has sponsored a global conference for women physicists and astronomers attended by more than 200 women and additional male allies from approximately 60 countries. The conference features plenary sessions with world-renowned women physicists and astronomers, breakout sessions on special topics such as education and improving the workplace, poster sessions to showcase research and highlight activities supporting women in each country and multiple opportunities for networking and collaboration-building. Attendees are required to be part of a country delegation in order to participate.
Yennello, an internationally renowned nuclear chemist and expert in heavy-ion reactions, holds the Bright Chair in Nuclear Science at Texas A&M and was a longtime associate dean in the College of Science (2004-2014). She is joined by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Jessica Esquivel and the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Laura McCullough in leading the U.S., one of 80 countries expected to be represented in Melbourne. The American Association of Physics Teachers’ Executive Officer Beth Cunningham serves as Team Chair.
As part of the conference, Yennello said the U.S. team will lead a project on empowering diverse voices to communicate science — a topic she sees as important to individual careers as it is to the future of the discipline as a whole.
“It is critical that the voices that communicate science represent the rich diversity of the practitioners of that science,” Yennello added. “If the voices of those underrepresented in science are not heard, then the apparent underrepresentation is amplified.”
Yennello joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty in 1993 after serving as a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University (1991-1992) and earning her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1990. Since 2014, she has served as director of Texas A&M’s world-class Cyclotron Institute, where her research focuses on the nuclear equation-of-state and heavy-ion reactions. In addition to being a principal investigator for four prior major National Science Foundation grants — including Texas A&M’s ADVANCE Center for Women Faculty — totaling more than $7.3 million in funding to benefit STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and outreach, she is principal investigator for a $10 million Center for Excellence in Nuclear Training And University-based Research (CENTAUR), a six-institution collaboration funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA).
Yennello’s pioneering example as an instructor, research scientist, administrator, and mentor to faculty and students — particularly women and minorities — is equally respected at Texas A&M and in national and international professional circles. As the inaugural associate dean for diversity in Texas A&M Science, Yennello led a National Science Foundation-funded SSTEM program to build a bridge from Palo Alto College to Texas A&M. Within ADVANCE, she coordinated a university-wide NSF-funded effort to improve the climate for STEM women faculty. As Cyclotron Institute director, she has increased DOE support by more than 60 percent. Yennello also was architect and co-chair of an NSF-funded Gender Equity Conversation effort and a co-coordinator of the 2012 South Central Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics hosted by Texas A&M.
A University Faculty Fellow, Yennello is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012), the American Chemical Society (2011) and the American Physical Society (2005). Her many awards include the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Administration (2019), the ACS’s Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal (2011), the Texas A&M Women’s Faculty Network Outstanding Mentor Award (2010), the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at both the university and college levels (2012 and 2008, respectively), the Sigma Xi National Young Investigator Award (2000), the NSF Young Investigator Award (1994), the Oak Ridge Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (1993) and the General Electric Faculty for the Future Award (1993).
For more information about Yennello and her research, teaching and service at Texas A&M, visit http://www.chem.tamu.edu/faculty/yennello.
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