Four Women With Ties to Higher Education Receive Notable Honors or Awards

Diane DiTomasso, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Rhode Island, has received the 2019 Best Research Article with A Practice Focus award from the Journal of Human Lactation. She was recognized for her article, “Neonatal Weight Matters: An Examination of Weight Changes in Full-Term Breastfeeding Newborns During the First 2 Weeks of Life” Dr. DiTomasso’s research revealed that it is common for breastfed newborns to lose up to 10 percent of their body weight in the first two weeks after birth. These babies subsequently gain weight back at a similar pace after this time period, therefore suggesting that weight-lose due to breastfeeding does not have long-term negative effect on the baby.

Dr. DiTomasso holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. all from the University of Rhode Island.

Martha D. Saunders, president of the University of West Florida, has received the 2019 National Association of Colleges and Employers Career Services Champion Award. She was honored for her forward-thinking leadership in support of career services education at the university.

Dr. Saunders is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where she majored in French. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in communication theory and research from Florida State University.

Maryam Foroozesh, the Margaret W. Kelly Endowed Professor in Chemistry, chair of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, chair of the Division of Biological and Applied Health Sciences, and head of the department of chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana, has received the inaugural Outstanding Mentorship Award from the Chemistry Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research. She was honored for her acumen in mentor-led chemistry research projects and her work utilizing diversity and inclusion practices in undergraduate education.

Dr. Foroozesh is a magna cum laude graduate of Louisiana State University where she majored in chemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in organic/bio-organic chemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans.

George Mason University has announced that it will rename the largest building on its Science and Technology Campus in honor of NASA mathematician, Katherine G. Johnson. She was an African American woman who performed complex calculations and flight path analysis for U.S. spacecraft in the early years of the space program, including for the Apollo 11 flight to the moon in 1969. Her trailblazing achievements were highlighted in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures. 

Johnson graduated from high school at the age of 14. She graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia State College (now University) at the age of 18 and earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and French.

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