Three Blacks Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

The Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 to help young scientists establish themselves in research. Over the years more than $119 million has been given to 4,200 young scientists. Thirty-seven of the scholars went on to win the Nobel Prize later in their careers.

Each winner of a Sloan Research Fellowship receives $50,000 over a two-year period. The money is given to the college or university. Expenditures must be approved by the chair of the academic department in which the faculty member is employed. Funds can be used for equipment, technical assistance, professional travel, or research support.

Here are brief biographies of the three black scholars among this year’s 118 recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships.

Gerard Awanou is an assistant professor of mathematics at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Originally from Benin in West Africa, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from the Universite Nationale du Benin. Dr. Awanou came to the United States in 1998 to pursue his doctorate at the University of Georgia. He was awarded his Ph.D. in applied mathematics in 2003.

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins is an assistant professor of computer science at Brown University. He is a 1996 graduate of Alma College in Michigan. He went on to earn a master’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech. He earned his Ph.D. in 2003 at the University of Southern California.

Richmond Sarpong is a native of Ghana. He came to the United States in 1991 to enroll at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating in 1995, Sarpong began graduate work at Princeton, earning a Ph.D. in chemistry six years later. He is now an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley.