With greatest enthusiasm, I’d like to nominate Erin Sanehira as an outstanding female graduate student in celebration of UW Women. Erin entered our graduate program in fall 2011 with one of the most exceptional graduate applications I have seen since joining UW in 2003, and her performance in all aspects has thus far been on par with the top graduate students our department has produced. Erin received two departmental fellowships, Gray Fellowship shortly after she joined and Rattie Endowed Fellowship in 2012.
In spring 2012, she received a NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) Fellowship and as a result conducted research work in the University of Tokyo in summer 2012. She received both the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF) and a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2013. After hard deliberation, Erin decided to decline the NSF fellowship in pursuit of the NSTRF. Erin’s PhD research focuses on making a flexible solar cell that’s lightweight, wearable and conformable using a new material – semiconductor quantum dots. She has made significant progress in her research, and at the same time maintaining a nearly perfect GPA of 3.94.
In addition to excellent research and academic performance, Erin has strong leadership skills which she has been applying to organizing events and activities to promote the interaction of our group members as well as the whole graduate student community in our department. For example, she has been leading our group’s participation in the College of Engineering Discovery Days, the major annual outreach event in our college. She also actively contributes to our graduate student association. Her previous leadership experience in IEEE student chapter shows naturally in her mature and excellent communication skills which often impress me. She is no doubt an outstanding female member in the UW community.