Dr. Brenda A. Wilson receives 2015 Leadership Award

Brenda web

The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Department of Microbiology congratulate Dr. Brenda A. Wilson, professor of microbiology, on her 2015 Leadership Award, which she received from the YWCA of the University of Illinois at an awards ceremony on April 23rd.

This award recognizes a woman who has contributed significantly to science, technology, engineering or mathematics; demonstrates a personal commitment to education and outreach in these fields; and whose educational endeavors and original work position her as an exemplary leader in her field.

“The nomination letter drew our attention not just to her extensive professional experience and contributions to the field of microbiology, but also her commitments beyond research, pointing out her interest in conveying to students and the public that science is both exciting and pertinent to contemporary problems in real life,” said YWCA Executive Director Andrea Rundell. “Dr. Wilson’s advocacy for supporting a diverse group of students, and direct involvement with initiatives to increase the representation and success of women and people of color in the sciences really resonated with our own mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.”

Professor Wilson currently serves as Associate Director of Undergraduate Education for the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, supervising 23 instructional program staff, lecturers, and academic professionals, and overseeing the delivery of all academic, advising and curricular aspects of the MCB undergraduate program that delivers education to over 15,000 enrolled students, including 2,000 MCB majors. She also serves as Co-Director of the Center for Zoonosis Research (with 65 faculty members), and sits on the Executive Committee of the ACDIS Program-Biosecurity Group at UIUC.

“It is such an honor to receive this YWCA Leadership in STEM award,” said Dr. Wilson. “I feel like I am being rewarded for doing what I love best: being an academic scholar. As a female professor in the area of STEM two of my greatest passions are (1) to serve as a positive role model for other women interested in science and (2) to improve scientific literacy for all, including reaching out to the general public and policy makers to bridge the gap between scientists and nonscientists. I am delighted that a wonderful organization such as the YWCA recognizes the amazing achievements of women in our community. It really makes a huge difference.”

The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA Leadership Award was created to recognize the achievements and contributions of exceptional individuals, organizations, and businesses in the greater Champaign-Urbana community who work to advance the mission of the YWCA. In addition to their routine duties and responsibilities, recipients of the leadership awards often go the extra mile to get involved in programs and activities that benefit the communities in which they live and work. These individuals display leadership, initiative, creativity, and dedication. Through their involvement, they inspire others to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others.

Posted May 06, 2015.