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AAAS Recognizes three scientists from our community

Alondra Caraballo Franco's picture
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We're celebrating the recognition of three scientists from our community by the AAAS!

Every year, the AAAS recognizes scientists, engineers, innovators, public servants, and authors for their contributions to science and society.

This year, some of the awardees were:

  • Dr. Ana María Porras: AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science - This award recognizes scientists and engineers who seek to engage the general public with science. Ana María, who is a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, combines art and craftsmanship, advocacy for Spanish speakers, and multilingualism in science. She blends her interest and passion for art and science by crafting plush microbes and sharing her work on Instagram, launching #MicrobeMondays to discuss microorganisms and #MicroMartes to share content in Spanish. She is a co-founder of LatinXinBME and is an IF/THEN Ambassador and close collaborator for our Seeds of Success program. Her social media engagement promotes science outreach activities, such as writing an article on the importance of scientific communication in multiple languages, participating in the organizing committee of the Inclusive SciComm symposium, and collaborating with the Story Collider podcast to produce their first "Scientific Stories" program in Spanish.

  • Dr. Luis A. Colón: The AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award - This award goes to an individual with over 25 years of experience who has mentored students from minority populations (women, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities). Hailing from Puerto Rico, Professor Colón was honored for his longstanding commitment to mentoring and training students from minority groups in science. Since 1995, Luis has worked to recruit students from the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey to conduct research at the University at Buffalo, creating a diverse research community in a department that previously had no Latino representation, mentoring 51 graduate students.

You can see all the awards here:

In addition, AAAS published recently a profile on Dr. Natasha De León Rodríguez, president of the AAAS Caribbean Division, who was selected last year as a AAAS Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) ambassador. The profile expands on Dr. De León's goal to establish bridges of connection and communication between scientists, communities, and local officials with the goal of addressing Puerto Rico's most urgent environmental problems and decolonizing science. Natasha, who is one of our Borinqueña's and has mentored several Seeds of Success participants, helps organize "Science Cafes," informal meetings to discuss local issues; she is also a board member of Casa Pueblo, a community self-management project committed to appreciating and protecting natural, cultural, and human resources. Thank you for all you do, Natasha!

Natasha DeLeon Rodriguez, Photo Credit Natasha DeLeon Rodriguez

You can read the full note here: