The SIMB Diversity Travel Award has been established to promote diversity and to increase the participation of underrepresented minority groups in the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) amongst the graduate students making presentations at any SIMB-sponsored meeting.

Emma Brace photo

Emma Brace – Purdue University

Emma Brace is a Ph.D. student in Agricultural & Biological Engineering and graduate assistant in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at Purdue University. She completed her M.S. in ABE at Purdue and B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering at Kansas State University. Emma’s research efforts focus on using molecular modeling to enhance bioseparations by using it as a tool for solvent system screening and selection. Currently, she is using the Conductor-like Screening Model for Real Solvents to develop a method for using high-oleic soybean oil to remove hydrogen sulfide from natural gas. Emma’s broader research and career interests include bioseparations, bioprocessing, and engineering education. Emma is passionate about developing diverse and inclusive STEM communities and promoting women in STEM. She works on the leadership team for the Purdue Women in Engineering Graduate Mentoring Program and also enjoys volunteering for STEM outreach events.

Allison Yaguchi photo

Allison Yaguchi – Clemson University

Allison Yaguchi is currently a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Clemson University, where she works in Dr. Mark Blenner’s lab. Prior to joining Clemson, she obtained her B.S. in Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research focuses on characterization and engineering a non-conventional, oleaginous yeast, Trichosporon oleaginosus. Outside of research, one of Allison’s greatest passions is engaging and empowering underserved and underrepresented groups with STEM education. To accomplish this goal, she serves as the current Outreach Chair for her department’s graduate student organization. As Chair, she establishes and fosters connections between the graduate students and the surrounding community. She has expanded the Outreach Committee to also involve the Chemical Engineering faculty and undergraduates, and is currently helping to design a STEM summer camp for local middle school students. After graduation, Allison hopes to remain in academia at a major research university where she can contribute to the field of biomolecular engineering.