Mecartney Wins Distinguished University Service Award

August 7, 2019 - Martha Mecartney, professor of materials science and engineering, has spent nearly 30 years advocating for diversity and inclusion at UC Irvine. She has created and maintained a long list of programs that provide opportunities for women, first-generation and other underrepresented groups to attend UCI, and find support and encouragement along the way. Now, the UCI Academic Senate has returned the favor, awarding Mecartney its 2019-2020 Daniel G. Aldrich, Jr. Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service. The award is among the most prestigious honors bestowed upon faculty members by their colleagues.

At the Senate Faculty Awards event to be held during winter quarter 2020, Mecartney will receive a commemorative plaque and a monetary prize, which she can use for travel, research or professional development.

Mecartney’s many accomplishments at UCI include: bringing in U.S. Department of Education GAANN grants to fund graduate student enrollment among diverse groups; chairing the Academic Senate, where she established a subcommittee on diversity; serving as UCI associate graduate dean, during which time she landed the first NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate grant, which improved diversity among STEM doctoral programs; and serving as faculty director for the Program for Diversity in Engineering Education and a faculty equity adviser for the ADVANCE program.

In addition, Mecartney established the DECADE Engineering graduate student council to offer networking and leadership opportunities for students interested in promoting diversity and the Graduate Women’s Group in Engineering to support women graduate students. She

was a 2003 winner of the NSF/White House Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring given at the White House to faculty who are recognized nationally for making an impact.

MSE professor and department chair Julie M. Schoenung nominated Mecartney for the award. “Martha has been a strong and devoted advocate for women and other underrepresented groups in higher education and her major contributions to service on our campus reflect this,” Schoenung wrote in her nomination letter. “Not only has [she] served our campus well ... but her contributions have made a lasting positive impact on the climate for faculty and students.”

“I am humbled to receive this award, following so many great faculty colleagues who have helped make UCI what it is today,” said Mecartney in expressing appreciation for the award.  “We all do service because it is the right thing to do, and we feel that contributing to the campus is reward enough, but it is wonderful to receive this recognition.”

- Anna Lynn Spitzer

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