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Young scientist receives Paul Shin Award for exceptional science outreach to Hispanic communities


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PRESS RELEASE

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The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) today announced this year’s winner of the second annual Paul Shin Award, honoring the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement.

The 2013 winner is Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, Ph.D., Vice-director and News Editor for Ciencia Puerto Rico. For the past seven years, Mónica has dedicated 20-30 hours a week of unpaid work to Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR), a non-profit grassroots organization that promotes science, research and scientific literacy in Puerto Rico, all while working toward (and obtaining) her PhD in neuroscience at Harvard University. Mónica explains: “I love the lab bench, but through Ciencia Puerto Rico I’ve realized that my true passion lies in outreach, communicating science and making it available to everyone.”

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, Ph.D. , Executive Director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, nominated Dr. Feliú-Mójer saying, “Mónica has enhanced science communication directly, through her writings and innovative education programs, but perhaps most importantly, through her example, she has empowered fellow scientists to get involved and do the same.”

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Feliú-Mójer said, “What I love most about Ciencia Puerto Rico is that everyone in the (mostly volunteer) group is equally passionate about making a difference. I am so excited to connect with people from across the United States that share that passion.” Dr. Feliú-Mójer will attend the COPUS 2013 Invitational from April 12-14 in Monterey, CA, receiving a $500 cash prize and recognition plaque, while taking part in science outreach networking and educational events.

Co-founder of COPUS, Judy Scotchmoor said, “The Paul Shin award is very special to us at COPUS. In the short time that we knew Paul, we were captivated by his energy and determination to make a difference in the world. The nominees for this year’s award were fantastic, but Dr. Feliú-Mójer made an impression on us. Her tireless enthusiasm and commitment to sharing science to reach her community is exactly what we aspire to recognize through this award.”

About COPUS

The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) is a grassroots effort to engage the public in science and increase public understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. COPUS creates a network of peers that build community for science through promoting dialogue, building connections, and sharing ideas and resources. Learn more at copusproject.org.

About Ciencia Puerto Rico

Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting science, research and science education in Puerto Rico and among Hispanics in the U.S. Through its online platform, CienciaPR brings together the geographically dispersed but emotionally connected Puerto Rican scientific community and leverages their collective knowledge and expertise for the promotion of science careers, education and public understanding of science. Learn more at cienciapr.org.

DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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