Morrine Omolo, a graduate student in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, has been awarded a prestigious Faculty for the Future Fellowship, as announced by the Schlumberger Foundation.
Omolo, a graduate student working with Assistant Professor Dr. David Baumler and his lab, will receive a maximum of $50,000 per year for up to five years to continue her education and pursuit of a doctorate degree. She is the first-ever recipient from the U of M.
“I am humbled to be joining a family of brilliant women who are from third-world countries but have defied every odd to venture into STEM fields,” said Omolo. “Joining the 560 women currently under the Fellowship validates my dreams, and that of every girl looking for someone to look up to. I would like to thank my family and my future spouse for their support and encouragement throughout this process.”
A native of Kikuyu County, Kenya, Omolo completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she was a Zawadi Africa Educational Fund Scholar and 2012 FDU Pinnacle Award and International Undergraduate Student Award recipient. She is passionate about girl child education and poverty eradication through sustainable “homemade” solutions. Omolo is also committed to mentoring young girls, especially those interested in STEM fields.
“I hope that more girls from Africa can look at this as motivation to work hard and face the future with hope that they too can become engineers, scientists, doctors and professors given the opportunity,” said Omolo.
The Faculty for the Future program, launched in 2004, awards fellowships to women from developing and emerging economies to pursue Ph.D. or Post-doctorate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at leading universities worldwide. The long-term goal of the program is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing academic careers in STEM disciplines thus contributing to the socio-economic development of their home countries and regions. The program is growing each year and has become a community of 560 women scientists and technologists from 68 countries.
“This is extraordinarily exciting for Morrine to have won this prestigious award,” said Dr. Baumler. “The award paves a map for her future in the lab and to one day return to Africa to teach and mentor other female scientists. Prior recipients have gone on to become some of the most influential female scientist role models and motivational speakers around the world, and Morrine is right on track to join them.”
Grant recipients are selected as much for their leadership capabilities as for their scientific talents. Ultimately they are expected to return to their home countries to continue their academic careers, to further their research, to teach and to become inspirational role models for other young women, especially in the STEM fields.
The Schlumberger Foundation is an independent nonprofit entity that supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Recognizing the link between science, technology, and socio-economic development, as well as the key role of education in realizing individual potential, the Schlumberger Foundation flagship program is Faculty for the Future.