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August 20, 2018

Sonia Kreidenweis receives 2018 Colorado Women of Vision Award

“Sonia Kreidenweis is a woman of extraordinary achievement for her scientific contributions and for training a new generation of scientists necessary for our future,” said Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Stuart Tobet in his nomination of Kreidenweis for the 2018 Colorado Women of Vision Award.

Kreidenweis, a University Distinguished Professor with the Department of Atmospheric Science, was one of twelve women chosen for the award by the Colorado Women of Influence Foundation. They were honored at the foundation’s annual Women of Vision Gala on July 18 for contributing to the well-being and empowerment of women and the betterment of their communities through outstanding innovation, leadership and social Impact.

“Sonia’s vision, creativity, and can-do attitude have led her down paths of mentoring, service, and responsibility that few faculty go and fewer excel,” Tobet said in his nomination, in which he praised her as a highly accomplished educator, scholar, mentor and innovative leader.

Kreidenweis achieved CSU’s highest academic recognition when she was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2014. She was appointed Associate Dean for Research of the College of Engineering in 2015. While earning department and college accolades at CSU, Kreidenweis also served on the leadership teams of two national organizations. She is a former president of the American Association for Aerosol Research and a past member of the executive committee of the American Meteorological Society.

Tobet pointed out that Kreidenweis has been a strong role model for women in these historically male-dominated national organizations, as well as within the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering.

“Colleges of engineering are not gender diverse, and Sonia is a leader for recruitment and retention of excellent women faculty to break down barriers of gender inequality.”

Kreidenweis’s guidance extends beyond gender lines. Service to young faculty is a major focus for her.

“She not only serves as a role model for junior faculty members, but also actively identifies and implements activities that have the greatest impact on assisting new faculty to develop innovative, compelling, and competitive programs,” Tobet said.

Kreidenweis, who was interviewed along with all of the honorees, discussed her career track and offered some advice for women striking out on their own path.

“If a young woman [asked] me about how to create the life of her dreams, I would suggest that she pursue what she loves, because then work won’t feel like work, work is going to be fun. It helps you get through the hard times. And never forget that you have your family and you have your support network, and people are always there to help you.”

Kreidenweis expressed gratitude for those who supported her along the way and for this most recent honor to add to a long list of accomplishments.

“I’m incredibly honored to have been selected as a Woman of Vision and so grateful to Stu for nominating me. It was a big surprise and a very humbling one, and I’m really grateful to be honored this way.”

Kreidenweis was the first in her family to earn a college degree, and went on to attain her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at a time when not many women were pursuing engineering degrees. She credited her stubbornness for helping her succeed.

“The research that I’ve done I think has been important to the state and to the nation, and it’s a really great feeling to think about your research having some impact like that.”

Her colleagues and students have noted her impact, and she has been commended with the Abell Outstanding Teaching and Service Faculty Award at the college level and a department Professor of the Year Award, voted on by graduate students.

“I’m really proud of being hired at Colorado State and contributing to the Department of Atmospheric Science. It’s been a really wonderful place.”

View Kreidenweis’s Colorado Women of Vision interview here.

Photo at top: Sonia Kreidenweis, recipient of the 2018 Colorado Women of Vision Award, and Stuart Tobet, who nominated Kreidenweis for the award. Photo by Emily Moon of eMoon Photography.