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Linda Sealy receives 2018 AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

Feb. 15, 2018, 11:00 AM

Associate Dean Linda Sealy (Vanderbilt University)

Linda Sealy, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion for basic sciences in the School of Medicine, has been recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her career-long commitment to increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in science and engineering doctoral programs.

Sealy will be honored with the AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement on Feb. 18 at the organization’s annual meeting. At the same meeting, Vanderbilt University’s Keivan Stassun, senior associate dean for graduate education and research in the College of Arts and Science, will receive AAAS’s Mentor of the Year Award. (See story about Stassun’s honor here.)


The awards honor AAAS members who have mentored significant numbers of underrepresented students pursuing Ph.D.’s in STEM fields, and who have demonstrated scholarship, activism and community building on behalf of these groups. Vanderbilt is the first university to have faculty members honored with both mentorship awards in the same year.

“Linda has built an inclusive learning environment with robust training and mentoring that has allowed students to thrive at all stages of their training,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente. “Her efforts have helped move the needle on diversifying the scientific community not only at Vanderbilt, but in academia more broadly.”

Associate Dean Keivan Stassun
(Vanderbilt University)

Sealy, associate professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and cell and developmental biology, has mentored more than 55 underrepresented students through their doctorates at Vanderbilt and 13 students who have completed doctoral degrees at other institutions. Sealy also serves as director of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity, a program funded by the National Institutes of Health that currently serves approximately 75 students in all phases of their graduate training.

In 2016, Diverse Magazine ranked Vanderbilt University No. 1 in the United States for the number of doctoral degrees awarded to African Americans in the biological and biomedical sciences for 2014–15.

Sealy was the first recipient of Vanderbilt’s Joseph A. Johnson Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award in 2016 and was named associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion for basic sciences at the School of Medicine in 2017.

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