Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

Chemical Engineering graduate students receive Mavis Award

Three Illinois Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate students have received the Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) award from the College of Engineering.

Danielle Mai, Ritika Mohan, and Tong Si are recipients of the award which focuses on research, teaching, and mentoring and provides resources to students who want their next step to be into the field of academia.

Mai, a graduate student in Assistant Professor Charles Schroeder’s group, said she believes the program will help her prepare for an academic career. “I am honored and excited to receive this award,” she said.

For Mai, pursuing a faculty position was not originally a goal upon entering graduate school. “In the past two years, my passion for teaching and working at the cutting-edge of science sparked intrigue toward becoming a professor,” she said. “This award will provide a great personal opportunity to push my boundaries as a researcher and better explore the option and demands of an academic career.”

Ritika Mohan, a graduate student in Department Head and Professor Paul Kenis’ group, said she is excited to receive the award. “It is a great motivation,” she said. “The seminars and workshops are an excellent resource to learn more about the job application process in academia.”

Tong Si, a graduate student with Professor Huimin Zhao, said his career goal is to become an engineering faculty member at a research university. He says as a MF3 fellow he will not only enhance his research, teaching, and mentoring but also other skills including how to apply for and obtain research grants, how to manage personnel and finances of a lab, and how to hire graduate and post-doctorate students.

Si says Zhao, his advisor, has been a role model to him. “I always admire his great passion about research and education as well as his capability to handle countless tasks,” he said. “There have been seven members from his group who have obtained faculty positions at universities. Their successes greatly encourage me to pursue an academic career.”

The MF3 program is made possible by a gift from Frederic T. and Edith F. Mavis. Dr. Mavis received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He was a professor of civil engineering at several universities and was dean of engineering at the University of Maryland from 1957-1967.