Akua Asa-Awuku Named College’s Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Akua Asa-Awuku has been named associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). 

Akua Asa-Awuku photo
Akua Asa-Awuku. Credit: Alan Santos

In this role, she will serve as the college’s diversity officer and work closely with the CMNS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to advise on programs that educate and engage the entire CMNS community and advance the college’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“I eagerly anticipate this new journey and am dedicated to enhancing access and fostering inclusivity throughout our scientific campus community,” Asa-Awuku said.

A professor in UMD’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Asa-Awuku will also continue serving as associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, a role she has held since 2022.

Asa-Awuku has been honored by the Audubon Naturalist Society—alongside UMD faculty colleagues Candice Duncan and Ebony Terrell Shockley—for working to diversify the geosciences, a field where just 5% of the degree holders are women of color. The trio established the PEARLS (Providing Educational Access to Research & Learning in geoscienceS) program, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiative that aims to recruit students from nontraditional geoscientific backgrounds.

Asa-Awuku’s primary research interest is understanding and predicting aerosol sources and interactions with water as well as exploring the water uptake of complex particles as it pertains to aerosol hygroscopicity, cloud condensation nuclei activation, and droplet growth. She served as president of the American Association for Aerosol Research (2021-22) and received an NSF CAREER Award and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science To Achieve Results (STAR) grants.

Before joining UMD in 2016, Asa-Awuku was a faculty member at the University of California, Riverside, and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Asa-Awuku earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006 and 2008, respectively, and her B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT in 2003.

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 8,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and nine interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $250 million.