Computer science Ph.D. candidate awarded Faculty for the Future fellowship

Chinwe Ekenna, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has been Photo of Chinwe Ekennaawarded a 2012-2013 Faculty for the Future Fellowship from the Schlumberger Foundation.

The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future fellowships are awarded to women academics in science and engineering from developing and emerging countries, and provide funding for advanced graduate study at top universities abroad. The long-term goal of the Faculty for the Future program is to generate conditions that result in more young women pursuing scientific disciplines. Grant recipients are therefore selected as much for their leadership capabilities as their scientific talents and they are expected to return to their home countries to continue their academic careers and inspire other young women. Launched by the Schlumberger Foundation in 2004, Faculty for the Future has grown to become a community of 257 women from 62 countries.

"The competition for this was an intense five-round selection process so this is a great honor for Chinwe," said Dr. Nancy Amato, Parasol Lab co-director and Ekenna's advisor.

Ekenna received a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in computer science from Covenant University in Nigeria. With the other students in the Parasol Algorithms and Applications group she works with randomized motion planning algorithms and her research is focused on the application of these algorithms to computation biology problems. Her other research interests are in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Among her professional activities are her service as the Aggie Women in Computer Science (AWICS) communications officer and webmaster coordinator for Black Women in Computing. Last year Ekenna was awarded a GHC Google Women of Color Scholarship and a Microsoft Travel Scholarship to attend the 2011 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference.