Texas Tech University

Three Faculty Members Win Awards from Association for Women in STEAM

Glenys Young

May 8, 2019

Warren Conway, Paola Prada and Amanda Brown were honored for their work.

The West Texas Association for Women in STEAM (WTAWIS) recently presented its annual awards to three Texas Tech University faculty members for their work to support and encourage women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM).

WTAWIS presents the awards each spring to recognize men and women in the Texas Tech University System who are active supporters of women in STEAM and who have demonstrated their commitment to the education, training and mentoring of women as well as to overall gender equity in the sciences.

Warren Conway, the Bricker Endowed Chair in Wildlife Management in the Department of Natural Resources Management within the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, received the Champion of Women (COW) Award. The women who nominated Conway wrote, "To be a champion of women requires more than simply helping female students in STEM. It requires serving as a mentor, encouraging creative thinking, being available to help whenever it's needed and general support. Dr. Warren Conway exemplifies all these things and more."

"I am honored and humbled by this recognition, and this is even more meaningful because of the coalition of strong women scientists who went out of their way to submit this nomination on my behalf," Conway said. "I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with them as students, and as colleagues and collaborators in the future. They will continue to serve as mentors and role models for future students and scientists here at Texas Tech and elsewhere. This is a very special award, and I am truly honored to be recognized for working with amazing women student-scientists here at Texas Tech."

Paola A. Prada, graduate program director and a research assistant professor in the Institute for Forensic Science, received the Outstanding Woman Leader (OWL) Award. Her nominators called her "an amazing woman leader who showcases integrity, perseverance and joy" both in and out of the classroom.

"As a double-minority scientist, female and Hispanic, it is truly rewarding that my student mentoring has helped young women gain the tools and inspiration necessary to pursue a career in the STEAM fields," Prada said. "Personally, it is a recognition that I am on the right path; that following my heart and passion for forensic science does work, that doing what I am passionate about works. Professionally, it means I can connect with more young, women students on a bigger scale, help more people and create positive change on a bigger scale. I put my heart and soul into my work at the Institute for Forensic Science, and to know that I have been rewarded by the young students I mentor truly means the world to me and is very humbling. I feel very proud to be able to set an example for my students and be an example that hard work and being passionate about what you do leads to success."

Amanda M.V. Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences within the College of Arts & Sciences, also received the OWL Award. Brown's nominator wrote, "She tailors her mentorship by adapting to the needs of the trainee through listening and gauging their interests and skill-development so they can be genuinely productive at their experiments – so the rewards of their work will be real and earned."

"I feel so honored by this award," Brown said. "This supportive group is well-aligned with my goals to increase equity and help women succeed at the leading edges of science."

Previous COW award winners:

Previous OWL award winners:

  • Martha Hise, 2009, Texas Tech
  • Elizabeth Hall Burns, 2010, Texas Tech
  • Barbara Pence, 2011, TTUHSC
  • Katy Henderson, 2012, Texas Tech
  • Jannette Dufour, 2013, TTUHSC
  • Raegan Higgins, 2014, Texas Tech
  • Nicte Ordonez-Garza, 2015, Texas Tech
  • Audra Morse, 2016, Texas Tech
  • Mindy Brashears, 2017, Texas Tech
  • Loren Ammerman, 2018, Angelo State University


WTAWIS is a group of Texas Tech faculty, staff, students and community members founded in 2008 with the mission to actively support and encourage women of all ages and career choices. The group – composed of both women and men – envisions a day when women will participate fully in science, technology, engineering, agricultural sciences and mathematics as manifested through equal opportunity, pay equity and recognition commensurate with their accomplishments.