Dr. Catherine Denning-Jannace Receives 2024 Samuel DuBois Cook Award!

Dr Catherine Denning Jannace Outdoors

Congratulations to Dr. Catherine Denning-Jannace, a 2024 Samuel DuBois Cook Society Awardee! The Samuel DuBois Cook Society was established in the spring of 1997 to honor Dr. Cook, a retired Duke University professor who was the first African-American professor to hold a regular faculty appointment at a predominantly white college or university in the South. The society recognizes the years of service that Dr. Cook has offered to Duke University, to the cause of African-American advancement, and to the betterment of relations between people of all backgrounds.

The mission of the Cook Society is to recognize, celebrate, and affirm the presence of African-American students, faculty, and staff at Duke University.  Catherine was nominated by several entities across campus, noting that "Catherine embodies the community-minded spirit of the Cook Society by consistently cultivating an uplifting sense of belonging and potential in those around her. Importantly, “those around her” is not passive, she actively and intentionally works to increase the diversity of those around her, then puts in the attention and mentoring to help them maximize their opportunity and potential. Catherine has made an indelible imprint on the chemistry department and beyond. As a member of DivInC for three years, she has contributed in myriad ways, including by introducing interviews with department members into ChemConnects, serving as DivInC ambassador during recruitment and orientation events, and contributing significantly to the design, implementation and now analysis of the departmental climate survey.  Outside of DivInC, Catherine started the first postdoc communication tool (Slack channel). She has mentored several undergraduate and graduate students both formally and informally, including many students from historically marginalized groups, and has extended this beyond the chemistry department.  In the even broader scientific community, her election as co-chair for the 2023 Metals in Cell Biology Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) speaks to the positive impact and trust she has among those around her. She was also selected as a Leading Edge Fellow, an initiative sponsored by HHMI to improve gender diversity of life sciences faculty in the US. Additionally, Catherine is a reviewer for the American Chemical Society Scholars program."

Congratulations, Catherine! We look forward to recognizing your work and celebrating with you and fellow community members who follow Dr. Cook's example of social activism and leadership at the award ceremony on Thursday, February 15, 2024.