Faculty Members Awarded for Supporting Gender Equity in Science

David Klein and Audra Morse were selected by the West Texas Association for Women in STEAM to receive its highest annual awards.

The West Texas Association for Women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math), also known as the WT-AWIS, will present two honorees with the organization’s highest annual awards at a ceremony in their honor on Wednesday (May 18).

David Klein

David Klein

The two awards, called the Champion of Women Award and the Outstanding Woman Leader Award, are presented annually by the WT-AWIS to recognize Texas Tech University men and women who actively support gender equity by demonstrating their commitment to the education, training and mentoring of women in STEAM disciplines.

This year’s awards will be presented to David Klein, associate professor of toxicology at The Institute for Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH); and Audra Morse, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

Klein was nominated for the Champion of Women Award by several of his graduate students at TIEHH, who said he has been both an inspirational professor and a devoted research mentor in addition to having a contagious enthusiasm for science. Klein’s support for his students is evident with his open-door policy and mentoring efforts that extend from his professional to personal life, such as demonstrating his passion for students’ research travel by helping them find financial support.

Audra Morse

Audra Morse

“Dr. Klein doesn’t judge students or faculty based on gender, but encourages everyone to be successful and participate in WT-AWIS,” wrote his students Amanda French, Amanda Cano and Michelle McManus.

Morse, who was selected to receive the Outstanding Woman Leader Award, was nominated by Texas Tech physics instructor Lesley Duke because of her dedication and commitment to inspiring, challenging and helping students in the Whitacre College of Engineering. Morse’s leadership of the Engineering Opportunities Center, which provides retention, placement and academic support services to students, as well as her creation of a mentorship program for females in engineering are a few examples of her dedication to helping students.

“Dr. Morse serves on a number of professional organization committees and has authored and/or co-authored more than 36 published journal articles,” Duke wrote. “In the last eight years, she has participated in research with other collaborators totaling over $10 million and has received the two highest teaching honors at Texas Tech. She’s a positive, hardworking, well-known individual on the Texas Tech campus and is recognized by individuals inside and outside the Whitacre College of Engineering.”

Klein and Morse will be recognized at the awards reception, among other distinguished nominees, for their notable contributions and commitment to women in STEAM fields.


Whitacre College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.

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TIEHH

The Institute of Environmental and Human Health was created in 1997 as a joint venture between Texas Tech and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to assess the impact of toxic chemicals and diseases on the physical and human environments, including air, water, soil and animal life.

Researchers investigate elements in the environment, both those that are naturally occurring such as disease and those caused by humans, such as nuclear activity, pollution or chemical or bioterrorism, which negatively impact the environment. It is one of the few labs in the country dedicated to environmental toxicology.

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