JILA Postdocs Rachael Merritt and Jake Higgins And JILA Graduate Student Sinead Ryan Awarded JILA JEDI Awards

JILA JEDI Award Winners Rachael Merritt, Jake Higgins, and Sinéad Ryan

Image Credit
Kenna Hughes-Castleberry/JILA

JILA's commitment to excellence and inclusivity was recently celebrated with the presentation of the JILA JEDI (JILA Excellence in Diversity and Inclusivity) Awards.

JILA Postdocs Rachael Merritt and Jake Higgins were honored for their exemplary leadership of the recently founded JILA Postdoctoral Group. Their efforts in fostering a collaborative and supportive research environment have significantly enhanced the group's impact and cohesion. The nomination stated: "On behalf of JILA, JILA staff Lauren Mason and Kenna Hughes-Castleberry nominate postdoctoral researchers Rachael Merritt and Jacob Higgins for the JILA JEDI Award. Jake and Rachael have been instrumental in founding and leading JILA's new Postdoc Group. Their passion for inclusivity and community has come through in these leadership roles, and we wish to acknowledge their hard work and dedication to this group."

Thanks to Merritt's and Higgins' leadership efforts, the Postdoc Group has held several successful personal and professional development events, including a faculty proposal panel, CIMER mentoring training, a "Write-in" session, and a recent funding proposal panel. 

Additionally, JILA graduate student Sinéad Ryan also received a JILA JEDI Award, recognizing her outstanding leadership of the 'Life after JILA' group and her pivotal role in organizing the successful Life After JILA Alumni mixer. Her nomination said: "For her outstanding work in ensuring the success of the Life After JILA alumni mixer, JILA staff members Lauren Mason and Kenna Hughes-Castleberry nominate JILA graduate student Sinéad Ryan for a JILA JEDI Award. Sinead's dedication to securing a cost-effective and accessible venue, along with her passion for reaching out to JILA alumni and the JILA community, deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. Thank you, Sinead!"

These awards highlight the importance of leadership and community-building in advancing JILA's mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable academic environment. Congratulations!