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Congratulations Sarah Ross on 25 years at Vanderbilt

Posted by on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 in News.


Please join us in congratulating Sarah Ross on her 25 years of service to Vanderbilt University. Sarah joined Vanderbilt in 1996 and she has been instrumental in the success of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE) since its founding in 2001. Sarah currently serves as Senior Program Manager with key responsibilities in both VINSE and the Interdisciplinary Materials Science program. Among her many notable and impactful contributions are serving as part of the management team for an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program that launched in 2003, transforming the IMS program by strengthening its ties to nanoscience and VINSE.

Throughout her career, Sarah has been an integral resource for students and is well-known for her community building initiatives that span not only students, but also faculty and staff affiliated with VINSE. Her impact also extends to undergraduate students, through her administrative leadership in helping to run the VINSE NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) since it began in 2011, and to K-12 students through her vision in helping to develop and run VINSE’s STEM outreach activities, which include a high school field trip program and rural teacher training program first launched in 2012 as part of a $20 million NSF ESPCoR program awarded to VINSE and several other universities across Tennessee. Remarkably, these educational and outreach programs have impacted over 40,000 students. Former VINSE Director and co-PI of the NSF EPSCoR program, Sandra Rosenthal, related, “Sarah was critical to EPSCoR, from inception to execution.”

Not to be overlooked are Sarah’s diligent oversight of VINSE administrative and financial activities and her leadership role in working with VINSE external partners. With her vision and passion for STEM outreach, dedication to supporting graduate students, and organization and commitment to taking care of the nuts & bolts of both VINSE and IMS administrative operations, Sarah continues to grow her legacy of impact at Vanderbilt. Current VINSE Director, Sharon Weiss, gratefully shared, “To know Sarah is to know that she is a problem solver, an advocate, and a friend. Sarah is exactly the type of person that everyone wants on their team and we are so lucky to have her as part of VINSE and IMS.”

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