Luz Martinez-Miranda is a 2020 ADVANCE Honoree

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Luz Martinez-Miranda, an associate professor in the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), is a 2020 honoree of the First to ADVANCE project, hosted by the UMD ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence.

First to ADVANCE features some of UMD’s pioneering women. This year's exhibit celebrates some of the many women faculty members who achieved a "first" within their field or discipline. Martinez-Miranda was the first woman president of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists.

“I began participating in activities that encouraged women and minorities to go into the STEM fields as a student, over 30 years ago,” she said. “When the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) was founded, I volunteered to help attract Hispanics into the physical sciences. In 1999, I ran for president of the NSHP and was elected the third president and first woman. Five years later, I was nominated and elected again. Years later, I was participating in an outreach activity as part of the NSHP and was approached by a young woman. She told she had never seen a Hispanic woman professor in the physical sciences or in engineering! Even though her revelation was a sad one, it encouraged me to keep up the work I had begun as a student.”

Martinez-Miranda received her Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 1985, and since joining MSE, has been instrumental in the development of its undergraduate program. She is a fellow of both APS and AAAS, and recipient of the NSF Career Advancement Award. Currently, Martinez-Miranda is studying the interaction of liquid crystal with nanoscale materials. Her studies have implications in the healthcare field and the study of biological interactions, particularly where nanoparticles are used as carriers for the delivery of treatment

Published May 27, 2020