Symister honored by the Association of Women Faculty


Chanez Symister, a graduate student working with Tim Wencewicz in the Department of Chemistry, won the 2021 Association of Women Faculty Student Award. The Association of Women Faculty (AWF) seeks to advance the professional and social interests of women faculty and support diversity across Washington University. Their student awards are given annually to outstanding women students from across the Danforth Campus who show strong leadership potential and whose research, teaching, or service benefits women and gender minorities.

Wencewicz nominated Symister for her academic excellence and devotion to promoting women and diversity in science. Symister’s research has discovered innovative, chemistry-based solutions to antibiotic resistance, an ongoing global health crisis. As director of the Young Scientist Program (YSP), Symister has helped thousands of K-12 students in the St. Louis region experience the wonder of scientific discovery. She is also a highly regarded teacher and peer mentor as well as an active participant in professional outreach through the American Chemical Society (ACS) Younger Chemists Committee (YCC), Catalysts for Change, and Partners in Academic Lab Safety (PALS) initiatives.

“Chanez aims to truly engage and collaborate with her peers to maximize impact on campus life and be an example for younger graduate students and undergraduate students from underrepresented groups,” Wencewicz said. “She has a real gift for inspiring people. She brings warmth and energy to a room. She makes everyone feel welcome and important, and she stands up for what she believes in.”

The award will be presented at the Association of Women Faculty’s Virtual Spring Reception on Thursday, April 29, 2021.