West Texas Association for Women in Science Honors Two for Contributions

Champion of Women and Outstanding Woman Leader awards will be given at reception.

The West Texas Association for Women in Science has selected the newest recipients for its annual Champion of Women and Outstanding Woman Leader awards.

Matt Vanlandeghem, a post-doctoral research associate in Texas Tech University’s Natural Resources Management was honored with the Champion of Women Award.

“Matt Vanlandeghem deserves to be a Champion of Women because he actively supports women in science,” said Maria F. Mejia, a graduate research assistant in Natural Resources Management, who nominated him for the award. “He has exemplified training and mentoring women in science and promotes gender equity. His greatest motivation is to ensure that, as a scientist, one succeeds to his or her best ability. He fits in well in the ‘ideal scientific community,’ where there is gender equality, free sharing of ideas, functional cooperation and furthering of scientific knowledge. He is an asset to those around him, and we feel his work should be recognized as a Champion of Women.”

Nicté Ordóñez-Garza, a doctoral candidate in zoology and a research assistant in the Texas Tech Department of Biological Sciences, was chosen to receive the Outstanding Woman Leader Award.

“Nicté embodies all aspects of an outstanding woman leader in science,” said nominator Emma Roberts, a doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences. “She is an intelligent and committed leader both in the classroom and in a laboratory setting. She has published 24 scientific papers, received the prestigious Shadle Award (American Society of Mammalogists), and has been elected President of the Guatemalan Society of Mammalogists. Nicté has actively participated and attained leadership positions in programs aimed at student success in the classroom and lab setting, both in Central America and the United States. The honors she is beginning to receive as a scientist will have a major impact on young women throughout Central America. Nicté is a person who is deeply committed to the promotion of women in science, demonstrated by her work in Guatemala and here at Texas Tech.”

Marisa Wagley, Catarina Pizano, Yelena Tao, Whitney Watson and Alicia Wafa also nominated Ordóñez-Garza.

Vanlandeghem and Ordóñez-Garza will receive their awards at a private reception in their honor on Tuesday (April 28).

The awards are given by the West Texas Association for Women in Science during the spring semester each year. They recognize men (Champion of Women Award) and women (Outstanding Woman Leader Award) who are active supporters of women in science, and who have demonstrated their commitment to the education, training and mentoring of women in S.T.E.M., as well as to overall gender equity in science.

Previous Champion of Women Award winners are:

  • Michael San Francisco, 2008
  • Mike Hooper, 2008
  • Todd Anderson, 2009
  • William Marcy, 2010
  • Samuel Prien, 2011
  • Brandt Schneider, 2012
  • Lou Densmore, 2013   
  • Jerry Dwyer, 2014

Previous Outstanding Woman Leader Award winners are:

  • Martha Hise, 2009
  • Elizabeth Hall Burns, 2010
  • Barbara Pence, 2011
  • Katy Henderson, 2012
  • Jannette Dufour, 2013
  • Raegan Higgins, 2014

The West Texas Association for Women in Science is a group of faculty, staff, students and community members founded in 2008 with the mission to actively support and encourage women of all ages and career choices. They envision a day when women will participate fully in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and will have equal opportunities, equal pay and recognition commensurate with their accomplishments.


College of
Arts & Sciences

The Texas Tech University College of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1925 as one of the university’s four original colleges. 

Comprised of 15 departments, the College offers a wide variety of courses and programs in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. Students can choose from 41 bachelor’s degree programs, 34 master’s degrees and 14 doctoral programs.

With over 10,000 students (8,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate) enrolled, the College of Arts & Sciences is the largest college on the Texas Tech University campus.

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