Angela Wandinger-Ness, associate director for education, training and mentoring at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center and endowed professor in the UNM School of Medicine’s pathology department, will receive the 2020 Lifetime Mentor Award presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award honors researchers who, for 25 years or more, have positively impacted the atmosphere of a department or institution by mentoring students from communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields, such as women, African American, Native American and Hispanic men, and people with disabilities.
For nearly three decades — seven years at Northwestern University and 20 years at UNM — Wandinger-Ness has shown dedication to increasing the diversity of students pursuing doctoral studies in pathology and developing the skills necessary for her trainees to become successful scientists and effective mentors in their own right.
“Dr. Wandinger-Ness was an incredible mentor to me, providing personal and professional guidance throughout my time in her laboratory and beyond,” wrote Mary-Pat Stein, professor of biology at California State University, Northridge, in a letter to AAAS. “As my career at CSUN has progressed, many of the lessons that I learned from Dr. Wandinger-Ness have stuck with me as I have mentored students in my own laboratory.”
In 2004, when Stein was preparing to drive from a postdoctoral fellowship at UNM to another fellowship in Connecticut, Wandinger-Ness came to her house. She gave Stein and her mother, who was along for the cross-country ride, a set of audiobook CDs to play in the car.
“Of course, it was a murder mystery steeped in science that she knew I would enjoy,” Stein wrote. “This kindness and caring for me and my mom, whom she had met previously, exemplifies the thoughtfulness that Dr. Wandinger-Ness showed to all her trainees.”