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FHSU's Ali honored for global leadership in geosciences

FHSU Press Release
Fort Hays State University's Dr. Hendratta Ali

Fort Hays State University’s Dr. Hendratta Ali continues to make her mark in the professional geosciences community. This semester, she received some of the highest honors from not just one, but two, professional organizations for creating and leading the “Call for a Robust Anti-Racism Plan for the Geosciences” petition drive.

Earlier this month, Ali – an associate professor of geosciences, was awarded the Presidential Citation for Science and Society from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). In October, she received the 2020 President’s Award for Professional Excellence from the Association for Women Geoscientists.

This past summer, Ali organized and led a team of 19 scientists to create a plan that calls for a more diverse and inclusive geoscience community. Geoscience is one of the least diverse STEM disciplines in the United States and other industrialized counties.

Ali’s action plan centers on engaging in meaningful anti-racism, demanding all geoscience societies and organizations take concrete action against racism and all forms of discrimination. The plan secured more than 26,000 signatures, and it is being used to create long-overdue change in field of geosciences around the world. The plan in full can be viewed at http://chng.it/xGytnGc9.

The AGU – which promotes discovery and advancement of earth and space science – is one of the largest geoscience organizations in the world, with more than 60,000 members.

The AGU Presidential Citation for Science and Society honors individuals or institutions who work to connect science to the broader public. Previous recipients of this Citation include six members of the U.S. Congress – Rep. Rush Holt from New Jersey and five senators: Gary Peters, Michigan; Cory Gardner, Colorado; Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island; Barbara Mikulski, Maryland; and Olympia Snowe, Maine.

The Association for Women Geoscientists promotes the three E’s – encourage, enhance and exchange – and Ali was recognized as an inspiring mentor and educator, and an excellent leader and role model members of the professional geosciences community.

A native of Cameroon, Ali is in her 10th year at Fort Hays State after earning her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. She was surprised, and honored to learn she had been honored these two awards.

“It is a great honor to be acknowledged and recognized by our peers for working for the betterment of our society,” Ali said. “It’s a validation that the work that I do is making a difference.”