MSU physics professor recognized for inspirational leadership

  • Jan 27, 2017
  • Faculty, Award
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Physics & Astronomy

Picture of Filomena Nunes

Filomena Nunes

Filomena Nunes, Michigan State University professor of physics, has been named Inspirational Woman of the Year – Professional Achievement category, by MSU’s Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen), in recognition of a unique drive and passion for her career and contributions to MSU’s culture of excellence. Nunes received her award today during a ceremony at MSU’s International Center.

Nunes, who is also a professor in MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, is one of the world's top experts in nuclear reaction theory. This award cites her significant contributions to MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), her field of study, and all women in STEM.

“Filomena’s track record of excellence in scientific research, her strong leadership at the departmental, university, and national nuclear physics level, and her fierce advocacy for increased diversity and gender equality in the sciences, make her the natural choice for this award,” said Scott Bogner, physics and astronomy associate professor, who nominated Nunes for the award. “She has spearheaded a number of initiatives in the national nuclear physics community that have cemented MSU's role as the premier hub of theoretical nuclear physics research.”

The Inspirational Woman of the Year Award recognizes the achievements of women staff and faculty affiliated with Michigan State University. It is an opportunity to inspire the dreams of other women and provide accessible role models. The goals of this award are to honor the impact women have on and off campus, lift one another up as a community, and highlight the culture of high performance at MSU.

Nunes feels honored and grateful to receive this recognition.

“You cannot imagine all the kind words that the award has generated,” Nunes said. “Most times we just plow through our to-do list without encouragement, and it makes a huge difference to know that our efforts are appreciated by those around us. I hope this award will also serve as an inspiration to the bright young women facing the many challenges of a career in physics. These women are a true inspiration to me.”

"Our department is very grateful for this award to Dr. Nunes in recognition of her leadership, insight and energy in pushing forward the excellence of our university,” said Phillip M. Duxbury, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Natural Science. “This is inspirational for all of the physics and astronomy community at MSU."

GenCen is an interdisciplinary center in MSU’s International Studies and Programs that focuses on gender, feminist and women's studies.