Professor Tonya Kuhl (Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) and Associate Professor Angelique Louie (Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry) will receive awards for their mentorship and service from the Association for Women in Science, Northern California Chapter (AWIS-NCC). AWIS-NCC honored Prof. Kuhl with the Judith Pool Award, and Prof. Louie with the Ellen Weaver Award. AWIS-NCC presents awards annually to women who have combined scientific achievement and support of other women in science. Criteria for scientific achievement include accomplishments made in the laboratory, but are not limited to academic or discovery research. Service can include that relevant to the scientific community through professional societies or schools, or to women directly, such as mentoring and career development. The Judith Pool Award is for a senior scientist (10+ years past training) and the Ellen Weaver Award for a woman early in her career (5-10 years past training).
The Judith Pool Award honors Prof. Kuhl’s extensive service to students including women, through direct mentorship as professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, as the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group Chair for the past seven years, and as a member of the Biophysics Graduate Group. Prof. Kuhl’s mentees include members of her laboratory, and extends to graduate students from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics. Prof. Kuhl is an exceptionally active faculty member who strongly supports the student community. She has always made herself available to students and has served as a strong student advocate. Prof. Kuhl is the primary faculty member who attends the Biomedical Engineering Student Association (BESA) meetings to facilitate communication between graduate students and faculty. Through her guidance and dedication, graduate students have successfully formed a strong and connected community, with improved student-faculty relations. Prof. Kuhl is also the adviser for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Chapter at UC Davis. Year after year, the undergraduate students from her classes rank her as one of the coolest professors they have had.
The Ellen Weaver Award recognizes Prof. Louie’s extensive efforts to mentor students at all levels since she began as an assistant professor in 2002. Her mentees are not limited to immediate members of her laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, but also include women undergraduate and graduate students from both the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering. Prof. Louie serves on several educational committees, and is committed to Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the graduate group for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) society at UC Davis. She has organized successful career fairs, workshops, and panels that emphasize empowerment for women in science through networking and mentorship. For a WISE outreach event, she introduced girls from neighboring middle schools to her laboratory to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Prof. Louie plays an integral role in coordinating with the Internship and Career Center on the UC Davis campus to recruit various industry partners for the SWE’s annual “Evening with Industry” event. Her facilitation and direct involvement in these events has encouraged students to seek out prominent female figures in the academic, industrial, and government community. Aside from her fervor for women’s organizations on campus, Prof. Louie’s infectious enthusiasm and positive mindset have continued to inspire students to pursue goals that they never before thought possible.
Both Prof. Kuhl and Prof. Louie received their awards at a ceremony in Burlingame on April 27th.