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September 20, 2022

Department renames Alumni Award to honor alumna Maria Silva Dias

Department Head Eric Maloney announced Monday the renaming of the Alumni Award in honor of alumna Maria Silva Dias. The award is given annually to a senior Ph.D. student for outstanding research.

Silva Dias was the first woman to graduate with a Ph.D. from the department, in 1979. She founded the atmospheric science department at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she has been a professor for most of her career. She also served as director of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

Silva Dias has done seminal research in tropical convection, South American precipitation and climate, and biosphere-atmosphere interactions. She has led numerous South American field campaigns and employed novel numerical modeling approaches.

Silva Dias won the CSU ATS Outstanding Alum award in 2017 and has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous positions and accolades, including as president of the Brazilian Meteorological Society, member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Students initiated the renaming of the award, and a committee of students, research scientists, and faculty identified a distinguished Ph.D. graduate to be its namesake.

Maria is excited to receive this honor and plans to be here for the Spring 2023 award ceremony at which this award will be first bestowed,” Maloney said. “We’re excited to celebrate with Maria at that time.”