The Wayne State University Graduate School is proud to announce that Dean Ambika Mathur, Ph.D., is the 2017 recipient of the Wayne Women LEAD Woman of Distinction Award. Dean Mathur was honored in a public awards reception on Thursday, April 20, 2017. This event was hosted by the Wayne State University President’s Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) and Wayne Women LEAD, and also honored students and an alumna who have made significant contributions to women.

“Behind every successful man stands a woman,” says Dean Mathur, “and while this maxim has proven to be true over centuries and millennia, we need to change that. We need to change it to: Next to every successful man stands an equally successful woman.” Dean Mathur is deeply committed to the advancement of all aspects of training for high school, undergraduate, medical, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral trainees, with particular attention to building diversity and advancement of women and minorities in the STEM fields. She has worked closely with the leadership at national organizations and with the deans of WSU’s schools and colleges towards achieving this goal. Her contributions have been widely recognized as demonstrating “enduring commitment to women and diversity, a commitment that is real and personal,” in the words of President M. Roy Wilson.

Her leadership and mentorship initiatives include serving as a co-PI of the BEST program, promoting diverse career pathways for doctoral students, and as a PI for the ReBUILDetroit program – a consortium of Detroit institutions working to ensure that students from all backgrounds receive support as they pursue biomedical careers. In addition to these and many other accomplishments, she is spearheading the new Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition program, a major initiative to build a strong pool of early-career, urban disparity scholars who will contribute to academic excellence and diversity.

“I am truly honored to receive the Woman of Distinction award,” said Dean Mathur.  “Ensuring access, diversity and inclusion for women and minorities in both the classroom and workforce is a guiding principle for me, and I am fortunate to have colleagues here at Wayne State who share this goal.”  In her roles both as the Dean of the Graduate School and as Associate Provost in the Office of Scientific Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (STWD), Dean Mathur’s service as a leader, mentor and role model has touched the lives of many.