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Mentoring Award Named for Olin College President-designate Dr. Gilda Barabino

Dr. Gilda Barabino, Olin's President-elect

A newly created mentoring award has been named for Dr. Gilda Barabino, Olin’s President-designate.

Northeastern University’s College of Engineering announced the creation of the Gilda Barabino Excellence in Mentoring Award, which will honor faculty members who are research-active and who promote the successful research careers of chemical engineering undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and alumni at Northeastern University.

It is particularly fitting the award was established in Dr. Barabino’s name because throughout her career she has been known as an experienced and trusted adviser to students and faculty. Her formal mentoring as an academician spans three decades and began with service as a mentor and role model for the New England Board of Higher Education Network for Underrepresented Students. Early on, she also served as a mentor for the Harvard Medical School Biomedical Careers Science Project and the National Compact for Faculty Diversity. In 2019, Dr. Barabino received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

“Mentoring takes many forms throughout one’s career and, at its best, provides mentors and mentees with the opportunity to learn from one another on their path to becoming their best selves,” said President-designate Dr. Gilda Barabino.

Barabino joined Northeastern University in 1989 and rose to the rank of full professor of chemical engineering and then vice provost for undergraduate education. She then went to Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University as professor and associate chair for graduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She served as the inaugural vice provost for academic diversity and is credited with establishing a legacy to strengthen diversity and inclusion at Georgia Tech. 

Most recently, Dr. Barabino served as the dean of The Grove School of Engineering and the Daniel and Frances Berg Professor at The City College of New York. At City College, Dr. Barabino doubled the retention rate in engineering; developed new masters’ programs in data science and engineering, cybersecurity, and translational medicine; enhanced the research footprint of the college; led university-wide efforts to enhance the representation and success of women and minority faculty; and provided greater STEM opportunities for underserved student communities. Dr. Barabino also established thriving partnerships with institutions across New York City, the state and the nation. 

Dr. Barabino’s own research is in the fields of cellular and tissue engineering and sickle cell disease. Her seminal research in sickle cell biomechanics and adhesion provided the basis for current technologies and novel anti-adhesion therapies. As well, her research in biomechanics investigates how cells and tissues respond to their mechanical environment and has important implications for the treatment of disease and regenerative medicine. She also publishes and consults on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, and workforce and faculty development. She is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.

She was named the next president of Olin College in March after a comprehensive search that drew interest from around the world.

Dr. Barabino assumes the role of president on July 1, 2020.