Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown named recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award at UAM

August 29, 2019

Universities worldwide recognize their brightest and most successful alumni with prestigious academic awards.  

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a faculty member in Arizona State University's Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology and an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, received the Distinguished Alumni award from her alma mater, the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa (UAM) in Mexico, honoring her work as a researcher. Krajmalnik-Brown Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown is a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a faculty member in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology and an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics. Download Full Image

Krajmalnik-Brown is also a professor in civil and environmental engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and faculty in the School of Life Sciences

“This award means a lot to me,” Krajmalnik-Brown said. “I am happy that professors at my previous institution are aware of my work, and I am really happy to be giving back to society through my teaching and research accomplishments.”

Despite having accumulated numerous accolades for her work, Krajmalnik-Brown has had to overcome more than a few obstacles. Coming to the U.S. from Mexico, and breaking ground in a new field, Krajmalnik-Brown has proven that no challenge is insurmountable for her and other individuals like her.

"I hope this recognition motivates young women to: consider STEM careers, follow their dreams, and contribute to society," Krajmalnik-Brown said. 

Each year, the university awards various alumni from its three campuses with the Distinguished Alumni award. Nominators look for candidates who “stand out with their academic, cultural and social accomplishments” or who contribute “to the development and growth of their institution or country.”

To receive this award, alumni are selected by previous outstanding or emeritus professors. Krajmalnik-Brown was nominated by Sergio Rebah, a professor who had a profound impact on her career path.

“Dr. Sergio Rebah was one of the professors at UAM that inspired me to become an environmental engineer and to go to graduate school. I am honored to have been nominated by the one person that inspired me to start my academic career.”

Rebah recognized Krajmalnik-Brown’s name in a recent article in the Economist, which featured her research on fecal transplants and their potential for treating patients with autism spectrum disorder. Her work on the relationship between the gut microbiome and autism has recently received a high level of attention from the public. On average, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder each year, making Krajmalnik-Brown’s research of particular significance.

This groundbreaking research at Arizona State University is what set her apart from the rest of the UAM's alumni to earn her this award.

Although she is widely recognized for her work with microbiology and autism, her research also focuses on microbial ecology in the context of bioremediation and bioenergy production. Bioremediation involves the introduction of microorganisms to an environment to break down or consume polluted or contaminated materials, restoring the health of the environment.

In a similar show of recognition, Krajmalnik-Brown received an NSF CAREER award in 2011, and she was selected as a leader in the “40 under 40” list for Phoenix.

Gabrielle Hirneise

Assistant science writer , Biodesign Institute


ASU professor receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar award

Professor Nancy Jurik will do comparative study of women business owners in the Czech Republic and U.S.

August 29, 2019

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced that Professor Nancy Jurik of Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to the Czech Republic.

Jurik will engage in a collaborative research study with scholars at the Czech Academy of Science Institute of Sociology and Gender and Sociology Department. The project, titled "Support for Czech and U.S. Women Business Owners: Owner & Practitioner Perspectives,” is a comparative study of the needs of women small business owners and the services provided to them by business assistance programs in the Czech Republic and United States. Download Full Image

"I am excited to have the opportunity of a Fulbright Research award to work with the outstanding feminist scholars at the Czech Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology’s Gender and Sociology Department," said Jurik. "Comparing the experiences of women business owners and support programs for them in the U.S. and Czech Republic will provide important insights for policy in both countries."

Jurik is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019-20 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 

Nancy Jurik

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide. Since its establishment in 1946, under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.