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School's Assistant Dean, Biology Professor Recognized for Inspiring Women in STEM

Sept. 18, 2015

Dr. Kelli Palmer

Dr. Kelli Palmer

Two UT Dallas educators have been chosen by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine to receive the publication’s Inspiring Women in STEM Award.

Dr. Bernine Khan, assistant dean in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Dr. Kelli Palmer, assistant professor of biological sciences, are two of 100 award winners nationwide recognized in the September issue of the publication.

“Our sincerest congratulations to Drs. Khan and Palmer and The University of Texas at Dallas on receiving this prestigious national honor,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

“Both are truly an inspiration to all of us who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all women and other underrepresented individuals.”

The award is presented to women whose work and achievements not only encourage others in their individual STEM fields, but also inspire a new generation of young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Dr. Bernine Khan

Dr. Bernine Khan

Dr. Juan González, professor of biological sciences and associate dean for graduate studies in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, nominated Palmer, who joined UT Dallas in 2012.

“Dr. Palmer is rapidly becoming a star in the field of bacterial drug resistance, a field that could dramatically impact humankind,” he said. “Moreover, she has been at the forefront of our institution’s efforts to recruit and train women and underrepresented minorities in the sciences. She is very active in recruiting new female faculty members to UT Dallas, and understands that we need these role models to continue expanding the representation of women in the STEM fields.”

Khan, an environmental engineer, has worked with partners at Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas and local colleges, high schools and businesses to organize the SMART and EUREKA! summer camps, where middle school girls gain exposure to STEM careers through interaction with female scientists and engineers.

Both are truly an inspiration to all of us who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all women and other underrepresented individuals.

Lenore Pearlstein,
publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity

Khan also organized events at the Dallas Arboretum that involved more than 70 UT Dallas faculty and students presenting dozens of hands-on science activities to children and parents. In 2012, she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for outstanding community service.

“Dr. Khan is a longtime advocate for STEM education and science literacy among underserved populations,” said Dr. Bruce Novak, Distinguished Chair and dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “She has been instrumental in organizing outreach events that introduce young women to science and engineering, as well as to college life and potential careers in STEM fields.

“Our faculty and staff members have tremendous energy and enthusiasm for reaching out to and supporting UT Dallas students and young people in the community,” Novak said. “As role models, mentors and successful STEM professionals, Dr. Khan and Dr. Palmer lead by example, and I am extremely proud of their efforts to inspire others.”

Media Contact: Amanda Siegfried, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4335, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]


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