Juliana Bernal Ostos, a second-year Ph.D. student in UC Santa Barbara's Materials Department, has been named winner of the 2009 WiSE Diversity Award.
UCSB's Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program presents the Diversity Award to recognize UCSB graduate students who have taken the initiative to promote and support diversity at any level of education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Bernal Ostos is WiSE's first Diversity Award recipient.
Bernal Ostos received the award for outstanding achievements in outreach and mentoring activities in the STEM fields.
"In just two years at UCSB, Bernal Ostos has already made a marked impact toward promoting STEM diversity on campus, in the greater Santa Barbara community, and nationally, influencing students at other institutions," WiSE said in a statement announcing the award. "In addition to participating and volunteering within the many outreach activities facilitated by UCSB's California NanoSystems Institute or Materials Research Laboratory, Bernal Ostos is also deeply involved with mentoring high school and undergraduate students throughout the school year."
Bernal Ostos served as a mentor for the robotics team at Dos Pueblos High School, and helped lead the all-girls team in charge of the design and manufacturing of two of the robot's components. The team was undefeated in the Sacramento regional competition and won Best Quality Robot honors at the World Championships in Atlanta.
WiSE is a campus organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunity for women and girls in science and engineering, and to improving their scientific and career advancement.