Diversity and Inclusion

The goal of NEWT’s diversity and inclusion efforts are to maintain an enriching culture of excellence by acknowledging, educating, appreciating and nurturing diversity, and to enable researchers from a variety of backgrounds to synergize and solve problems in more creative and innovative ways.  We hold diversity and inclusion awareness sessions, both in person and online.  We also have robust recruiting efforts to ensure the engagement of women and traditionally underrepresented groups in our research labs, as well as our summer programming for teachers and K12 students.

Our diversity efforts are coordinated through our Inclusion Oversight Board (IOB), and we have representation from each site.  NEWT members are encouraged to reach out to any member of the IOB with respect to diversity and inclusion initiatives.


NEWT’s Inclusion Oversight Board

Rice University



























Arizona State University




University of Texas El Paso

Yale University


Terry Alford.jpg

Terry Alford 

Professor, Electrical Engineering

Theresa Chatman

NEWT Diversity Director


Roland Smith

Associate Provost

Ms. Theresa Chatman, M.S., Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Research Grants at Rice University, leads the diversity and inclusion efforts, both on campus and at partner institutions, for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) and the Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) Engineering Research Centers. She has 30 years of experience in directing the broadening participation efforts of large NSF centers, and she has been instrumental in many national partnerships and events designed to broaden participation, particularly for underrepresented minorities (URMs).

Dr. Smith served as a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Congressional Commission. He also served as the charter president of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) and as a board member for the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE). Born in Washington, DC, he holds a BA degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Bowie State University and a MPA degree from Indiana University. He holds an Ed.D. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Professor Terry Alford, Associate Director and Professor, School of Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy at Arizona State University (ASU), is the 2009 ASU Graduate Mentor of The Year, and has myriad other honors and awards for the mentoring of graduate students in the US and Africa including: National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM) Alumni Award - Outstanding Achievement in Academia, Golden Torch Pioneer of the Year Award – National Society of the Black Engineers, Outstanding Faulty Advisor - ASU African American Alumni Association, and ASU Graduate Women’s Association Outstanding Mentor.


Dr. Eduardo Pagán, Arizona State University's (ASU’s) Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History has served as a vice provost for inclusion and excellence and a senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C., with a portfolio that worked with Historically Black Universities and Colleges, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Pagán was one of the hosts of History Detectives (PBS), a historical consultant with American Experience (PBS), and has appeared in national and international documentaries and television shows. 

Eduardo Pagan

Associate Professor, History

For more information on NEWT’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts, feel free to contact Theresa Chatman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Research Grants by email at tlc@rice.edu or by phone at 713-348-5180.


Dr. Miller serves as Assistant Dean for Science and Engineering at Yale. Prior to that, she was the Associate Dean for Access, Inclusion & Student Programs at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering & Applied Science. In that role, she served as the college’s chief diversity officer and was PI of two NSF INCLUDES grants focused on lowering barriers to transfer for community college students. She has worked as a teacher and administrator in public K-12 schools and at the National Science Foundation in the CISE broadening participation portfolio.

Sarah Miller 

Asst. Dean for Science and Engineering


Dr. Malynda Aragon Cappelle serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Inland Desalination Systems at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. Cappelle has served as a mentor to students as part of her research at UTEP, volunteered at El Paso area foodbanks, and judged science fairs and robotic competitions. Prior to UTEP, she worked at Sandia National Laboratories and was the chemistry instructor for Sandia’s pipeline program called Manos Hands-on Science and Engineering Program for Hispanic middle school students. The Manos program introduced math, science, and engineering concepts to middle-school students with the hope of sparking their interest in STEM careers. Additionally, Dr. Cappelle was a regular speaker at elementary schools, volunteered at middle school science fairs, and served as a mentor to undergraduate students. Outside of UTEP, Malynda is a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, an international organization dedicated to the education of women around the world.

Malynda Cappelle
 Associate Director

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NEWT is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) award #EEC-1449500
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