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Last month the Schlumberger Foundation announced the new Faculty for the Future fellowships for women in developing countries and emerging economies studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. There were 19 new fellowships awarded and 77 renewed to women studying post-graduate studies on STEM topics often related to resolving challenges faced by their communities in their home countries.
The 2020-2021 Fellowship recipients have all achieved excellence throughout their studies—and today we highlight some of these new scholars and their academic endeavors.
Violeta Carmen Angulo Fernandez, from Bolivia, is pursuing a PhD in ecology and biodiversity at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Her research aims at obtaining beneficial microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) with traits to improve soil structure (aggregation), moisture retention, and carbon sequestration in degraded soil. Her research will help to reduce soil degradation due to intensive agriculture practices, destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change impacts on soil properties in Bolivia.
Faten Ayyash, from Palestinian Territories is pursuing a PhD in water engineering at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. Her research will combine simulation and geographic information system (GIS) modeling to stimulate behavior of over-abstracted aquifers in Gaza Strip-Palestine. The study is expected to provide a better understanding of the impact of global changes and population growth on water resources, which can be used by policy and decision makers in sustainable use of natural resources and planning for future resilient water resources.
Joy Carpio, from the Philippines, is pursuing a PhD in systems engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence and reinforcement learning, aiming to provide an advanced platform in traffic management using computer simulations, machine learning, and day-to-day real-time data. She expects it will help decision making in traffic management in the Philippines.
Awa Bousso Drame, from Senegal, is pursuing a PhD in earth and environmental sciences (physical geography) at the University College London in the United Kingdom. Several cross-border estuaries such as the Senegal and Mono river (Benin-Togo) are often a source of geopolitical conflicts in coastal management. Her research aims at monitoring and assessing human footprints as well as exposure to flooding and erosion risks through a geomorphological approach combined with GIS and hydro-sedimentary flows' modeling.
Zahra Essack, from South Africa, is pursuing a PhD in planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. Her research focuses on three interlinked topics related to hot super-Earth exoplanets: surfaces, atmospheres, and detection. She expects to inform and drive exoplanet science with detection techniques in South Africa and continue to establish the country as a resource for the exoplanet field.
Yasmin Quintana Morales, from Guatemala, is pursuing a PhD in ecology and conservation biology at Texas A&M University in the United States. Her research project is evaluating the impact of an invasive armored fish on the native fishes of Guatemala, aiming at supporting conservation and food security.
To meet other Faculty for the Future fellows and hear their inspiring stories, tune in to our podcast series.
Faculty for the Future is committed to gender parity in science in the interests of sustainable development and recognizes that full access to and participation in a STEM curriculum is essential for the empowerment of women and girls. Since its launch in 2004, 739 women from 82 countries have received Faculty for the Future fellowships for PhD and Post-Doctorate STEM research programs.
Through interactive online tools and in-person meetings, the program provides a platform for these women to take joint action in identifying and unravelling the impediments that are holding back equal opportunities in STEM education and careers in their local communities and home countries. By accelerating gender equality in STEM, the talent and capacities of these women can be developed for the benefit of their local communities, regions and nations.
The Schlumberger Foundation is currently accepting new applications for the 2021–2022 Faculty for the Future Fellowship program until November 9, 2020. Visit the Schlumberger Foundation for more information and for details on how to apply.
The Schlumberger Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports science and technology 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’s flagship program is Faculty for the Future.