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SUNO professor and student receive national role model award

SUNO professor and student receive national role model award
Posted By: Eddie Francis on October 07, 2008

A professor and a student from Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) received a national role model award in science. Dr. Murty Kambhampati (KAM-bahm-PAH-tee) received the National Role Model Faculty Award along with SUNO student Carmen Maldonado, who received the National Role Model Student Award from Minority Access, Inc. The two received the award at the 9th Annual National Role Models Conference Banquet on September 28, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Kambhampati received the award in recognition of his outstanding dedication and commitment to mentoring minority and women undergraduate students at SUNO and elsewhere. Ms. Maldonado is the first undergraduate student from SUNO to receive the national award. In late spring 2008, Dr. Joe Omojola (OHM-oh-JOH-lah), professor of math and physics from SUNO, nominated Dr. Kambhampati and Ms. Maldonado (upon the recommendations of her mentor) for the award. Dr. Omojola was a recipient of the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Kambhampati is a professor of biology and has been working at SUNO since 1994. During his tenure Dr. Kambhampati has mentored several minority and women undergraduate biology students in research at SUNO, the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), Tulane University, Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Many of the students participated in programs funded or supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education, the Coastal Restoration and Enhancement through Science and Technology Program, the U.S.



Department of Energy, the National Institute of Sciences, the SUNO-LS-Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP), Tulane University LAMP, LUMCON-LAMP and the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Funds. Through Dr. Kambhampati’s mentoring efforts, many of his mentees are attending graduate and professional schools. He holds three degrees from Andhra University (B.S. in Biology ’79, M.S. in Botany ’81 and Ph.D. in Ecology ’88) in India. He also holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Jackson State University (’99) in Mississippi.

Ms. Maldonado is senior majoring in biology. She received the National Role Model Award for academic excellence, community service, recruitment of members into the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the National Institute of Science. Ms. Maldonado has been listed consistently on SUNO’s Dean’s List for the past several semesters, having recently received an award for highest cumulative GPA among students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program at SUNO. She is also listed in Who’s Who Among American Students. Ms. Maldonado participated in the 2007 and 2008 Summer Research programs at BNL, a prestigious and world class national research facility, along with three other students under the supervision of Dr. Kambhampati and Brookhaven’s Dr. Timothy Green. Ms. Maldonado has participated in three national conferences and has made presentations. She has also published her research results in conference proceedings as an undergraduate research intern. Ms. Maldonado graduated from Ebenezer High School in Bolivia, South America.

Minority Access, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit educational organization that supports individuals, academic institutions, federal, state, and local government agencies and various corporations to diversify campuses and work sites by improving the recruitment, retention and enhancement of minorities. The organization is based in Hyattsville, Maryland.
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