Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award

First awarded in 2022, the ASPB-Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award is a biennial award. The award honors an ASPB member with a strong record of increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the broad area of plant biology. The awardee has made a significant impact in mentoring, supporting, and/or advocating for the careers in plant sciences of individuals belonging to underrepresented communities. The individual may have made a significant impact in outreach and service to underrepresented communities and serves as a role model. The awardee will receive a cash award and be invited to give a plenary lecture at the next annual meeting. A travel allowance will also be provided for travel and meeting registration in the year of the plenary lecture.

2022 Winner: Thelma Madzima

Thelma Madzima is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Bothell. Thelma earned her PhD at the University of Florida, which was followed by a postdoc at Florida State University. Thelma’s lab focuses on epigenetic mechanisms that govern abiotic stress resilience in maize. Her many contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion encompass service and mentorship at her institution, as well as at national and international scientific societies. Her leadership in advocating for more inclusive and just practices in scientific societies earned her multiple nominations for the ASPB Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award from ASPB. Through her research, teaching and service work, Thelma exemplifies the values that our scientific society must foster to make it more just, equitable, welcoming, and respectful of people of all identities, creating the positive change we need to support all plant scientists.

Cris Argueso, Chair (2021-2026)
Thelma Madzima, past winner (2023-2024)
Adam Steinbrenner (2021-2024)
Sophia Stone (2021-2026)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison