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Recent Honors Are Wins for STEM

February 10, 2023

To: All campus

Re: Recent Honors Are Wins for STEM


Dear campus community,


The news that Professor Asmeret Berhe — on leave from UC Merced to oversee the Office of Science in the US Department of Energy — has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is well worth celebrating. Dr. Berhe is a scientist of brilliant insight and prolific research, and we are so very proud of all the work she has done in her field of soil science and the impact it will have on our climate for generations to come.


Dr. Berhe is our second NAE member, after Dr. Sarah Kurtz’ election in 2020, and the most recent in an impressive run of UC Merced women in leadership being honored by their peers this year, including:


• Dr. Marjorie Zatz, special assistant to the chancellor and professor of sociology, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


• Dr. Teenie Matlock, professor of cognitive and information sciences and McClatchy Chair in communications, awarded the Jeffrey L. Elman Prize for Scientific Achievement and Community Building by the Cognitive Science Society. She has also recently been named a special advisor on Native matters to UC Santa Cruz.


• Dr. Gillian Wilson, vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development, selected as a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.


Only 28% of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce is made up of women, according to the American Association of University Women, and women are a minority of students in STEM fields at American universities. UC Merced charts its own course, however, with powerful and accomplished women mentors for STEM students and a majority of faculty in some of our STEM departments consisting of women.


We are proud to serve as a research home for these innovative leaders and hope their stories and acknowledgements broadcast to the world that women belong in STEM.




Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.


Remarks and Addresses