Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz wins SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award

Ramirez-Ruiz will be honored by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science at the 2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz
Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (Photo by Steve Kurtz)

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) has announced that Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, will receive the 2021 SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award.

The Distinguished Mentor Award is given to one individual each year who has demonstrated commitment and dedication to mentoring underrepresented students pursuing degrees and careers in STEM.

“The SACNAS Distinguished Mentor Award is deeply meaningful for me because mentoring is the most gratifying and fulfilling aspect of my career,” said Ramirez-Ruiz, who holds the Vera Rubin Presidential Chair for Diversity in Astronomy at UCSC. “It is particularly humbling to have been nominated by my former students and now colleagues.”

In addition to the Distinguished Mentor Award, SACNAS also announced the winner of the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Award, Professor Maria C. Tamargo at City College of New York-CUNY and the Graduate Center of CUNY. These awards will be presented with special tributes on Thursday, October 28, as part of the 2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Digital Conference.

Since joining the UCSC faculty in 2007, Ramirez-Ruiz has won a number of national awards for his research, including a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard, the Niels Bohr Professorship from the Danish National Research Foundation, the Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society, and the HEAD Mid-Career Prize from the American Astronomical Society. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Earlier this month, Ramirez-Ruiz was honored by the American Physical Society with its 2021 Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach.

SACNAS serves as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM. Today, the organization serves a growing community of over 28,000 supporters including 8,200+ members and 133 student and professional chapters throughout the United States, including Guam and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.