PROTECT Trainee Norma Torres Awarded Ford Fellowship

Norma I. Torres, PROTECT trainee at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, has been selected to receive the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, which aims to increase diversity in U.S. higher education faculty. The year-long fellowship is administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Chosen out of over 1800 applicants, Torres is the first in UPRM’s history to be selected for this prestigious fellowship. She is also the first student in Puerto Rico history to be awarded a Ford Fellowship for work in STEM. Dr. Ingrid Padilla, the researcher whom Torres works under for Project 4 said of the announcement, “Norma is breaking barriers and setting precedents for other students to follow. This is a great accomplishment that talks about the quality of our students in PROTECT.”

This award will support Torres dissertation research that will determine potential relationships between changes in groundwater contamination in karst groundwater system and hydrogeologic conditions and anthropogenic factors, and covers her stipend and provides funds to present at the annual conference of Ford Fellows.

The PROTECT team would also like to congratulate Stephanie Clark-Reyna, a student of Dr. Phil Brown of PROTECT’s CEC and RTC, for being awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship as well.

Norma presenting on her research at the Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds

Norma presenting on her research at the Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds