Congratulations to Isabel Rodriguez (M.S. Physics '21) for being the 2021 recipient of the Harriet “Hattie” Redmond Award. This award celebrates a member of the Oregon State community who works as an agent of change in service of racial justice and gender equity. This Breaking Barriers Award is sponsored by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of the Provost and OSU Athletics.
Isabel is a brilliant example of a scientist who works tirelessly and effectively for change in service of racial justice and gender equality. The STEM culture at Oregon State is changing profoundly because of her influence. As a Black woman in astrophysics, she has expertly navigated the terrain in this white-male-dominated field to emerge as a powerful example to other marginalized people of how to be successful on their own terms and teaching her mentors to change the ways they interact with their students.
Isabel has been a powerful agent of change within the physics department and the College of Science. She has challenged her research group, her peers, her mentors and the administration to look at our workplace differently and through the eyes of those marginalized. As an elected member of the graduate student committee, she helped lead discussions among the faculty and students in a series of Town Hall meetings that ultimately resulted in significant changes to the physics graduate program to make it more fair, flexible, and inclusive. She has also been an important member of the departmental DICE committee and a founding member of CoSMAC, the College of Science Multidisciplinary Antiracism Coalition, which advocates for the adoption of antiracist policies, practices, and actions in the College. She was also Vice President of the Black Graduate Student Association, where she organized regular on-campus events to foster a sense of community and belonging for Black undergraduate and graduate students. For her positive, measured and always relentless advice and guidance, Isabel is a worthy member of a spectacular group of leaders that have been recognized with the Harriet “Hattie” Redmond Award.
Thank you for your service Isabel, and for raising our collective consciousness.
Read this story on the The Spectrometer, a blog from the physics department at Oregon State University.