The 2009 WiSE Diversity Award was presented to student Juliana Bernal Ostos, a second-year Ph.D. student from UCSB’s materials department, which focuses on studies relating to substances used in construction and manufacture, for her involvement in outreach and mentoring activities.
The Diversity Award, created this year by the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program, is designed to recognize UCSB graduate students who have made great efforts to encourage and increase educational diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). WiSE is a campus organization that promotes equal opportunities for women and girls in the science and engineering fields, including career opportunities and scientific progress.
In a statement announcing the award, WiSE drew attention to Bernal Ostos’s “marked impact toward promoting STEM diversity on campus, in the greater Santa Barbara community, and nationally, influencing students at other institutions.” Throughout the school year, Bernal Ostos has volunteered as a mentor for high school and undergraduate students, including the members of an all-girl Dos Pueblos High School robotics team, which emerged victorious from a competition in Sacramento and proceeded to win honors for “best quality robot” at a world championship in Atlanta. In addition to her involvement in education, she has also worked on outreach activities directed by UCSB’s California NanoSystems Institute or Materials Research Laboratory.