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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2016-10-17 11:05:10
    • Article ID: 662946

    Argonne's Curry-Nkansah Wins Egretha Award

    • Credit: Wes Agresta/Argonne National Laboratory

      Maria Curry-Nkansah, chief operations officer of Argonne’s Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate

    The Egretha Foundation, formed 10 years ago to celebrate the successes of African-American women in the Chicago area, will honor two women from U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories at their annual gala in October.

    The awardees — Maria Curry-Nkansah, chief operations officer of the Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate at Argonne National Laboratory, and Sandra Charles, diversity and inclusion manager at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory — will join a long list of inspiring African-American women who have received the Egretha Award over the years. That list includes First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell and nearly 100 others.

    Curry-Nkansah has over 20 years of experience in scientific R&D related fields. As a chief operations officer at Argonne, she leads fiscal management, human capital management, resource allocation, infrastructure planning, safety and quality assurance to drive safe, cost-effective and efficient research and development. Maria also sits on the board of the Naperville Indian Prairie School District and on the board of the Hydrogen Education Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes clean hydrogen energy technologies through student scholarships, competitions and programs. She is also an active supporter of high school STEM research and tutoring programs and a member of the executive steering committee for DuPage County's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, a program that encourages academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

    "Maria is a working parent, a diligent school board member and voice for the community, and also an active participant and leader in many community organizations. Yet she still finds the time to tutor twice a week at our local high school," said Andrea Collier, who directs the tutor program at Waubonsie Valley High. "Her commitment and dedication never ceases to amaze me."

    Sandra Charles is responsible for creating programs and strategies that cultivate diversity as a fundamental organizational value at Fermilab. Her work focuses on recruitment, education, community outreach and partnerships. She manages graduate, undergraduate and high school programs at the laboratory which support and encourage traditionally underrepresented students in their pursuit of STEM degrees and careers. Charles manages the lab's co-operative education program, the undergraduate Summer Internships in Science and Technology program, and the TARGET program, a science, technology and engineering summer internship program for high school sophomores and juniors. She serves on numerous advisory boards for education throughout the state.

    In 2002, Charles founded the Parent Diversity Advisory Council in the Indian Prairie School District, a committee that addresses issues of economic diversity and equal educational opportunity. The Council is still going strong, and co-chair Saily Joshi describes Charles as her mentor.

    "She had the foresight to see the need for this council, and to have these kinds of courageous conversations with parents, students and teachers, at a time when that wasn't really done," Joshi said. "She's an incredible champion of diversity and educational equity."

    The Egretha Foundation is named after Egretha Hamilton, a nurse who lived a life of service and philanthropy within the African-American community. Co-founder Yvonne Sledd said that the annual gala grew from informal lunches with women eager to hear stories of other African-American women making a difference. Over time, the event blossomed, and it now draws hundreds.

    "The Egrethas are a collection of stories," Sledd said. "Our mission continually is sharing information amongst women of color who are successful, so that there are visual models of what you can accomplish."

    The annual Egretha Awards gala will take place on October 21, 2016, at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. For more information, contact the Egretha Foundation at theegrethas@gmail.com.

    Fermilab is America's premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC. Visit Fermilab's website and follow us on Twitter at @Fermilab.

    Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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    Top 10 Discoveries of 2018

    Every year, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory compiles a list of the biggest advances made by the Lab's staff scientists, engineers, and visiting researchers. From uncovering mysteries of the universe to building better batteries, here, in no particular order, are our picks for the top 10 discoveries of 2018.

    U.S. Department of Energy Announces $33 Million for Small Business Research and Development Grants

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced it will award 189 grants totaling $33 million to 149 small businesses in 32 states.

    DOE to Provide $16 Million for New Research into Atmospheric and Terrestrial Processes

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $16 million for new observational research aimed at improving the accuracy of today's climate and earth system models.

    Machine learning award powers Argonne leadership in engine design

    When attempting to design engines to be more fuel-efficient and emissions-free, automotive manufacturers have to take into account all the complexity inherent in the combustion process.

    ORNL partners with industry to address multiple nuclear technology challenges

    The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is collaborating with industry on six new projects focused on advancing commercial nuclear energy technologies that offer potential improvements to current nuclear reactors and move new reactor designs closer to deployment.

    Lithium earns honors for three physicists working to bring the energy that powers the sun to Earth

    Feature describes research of three PPPL physicists who have won the laboratory's 2018 outstanding research awards

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    Costas Soukoulis elected to National Academy of Inventors

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    Biophysicist F. William Studier Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

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    Blast to the future

    A grant from DOE's Technology Commercialization Fund will help researchers at Argonne and industry partners seek improvements to U.S. manufacturing by making discovery and design of new materials more efficient.


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    Microbial Types May Prove Key to Gas Releases from Thawing Permafrost

    Scientists discover key types of microbes that degrade organic matter and release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.

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    How yeast partition carbon into a metabolite may offer insights into boosting production for biofuels.

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