The Prytanean Honor Society Alumnae Board recently announced the selection of Dr. Samantha C. Lewis, UC Berkeley assistant professor of cell biology, development and physiology, as the recipient of the 2023 Prytanean Faculty Enrichment Award, along with a $35,000 grant. This honor recognizes outstanding contributions to scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service on the UC Berkeley campus and within the broader community.
The Prytanean Women’s Society, founded on Berkeley’s campus in 1901, holds the distinction of being the first women’s honor society in the United States. Since 1986, the society has annually presented a financial grant to acknowledge the achievements of an untenured woman faculty member at UC Berkeley.
Lewis’ recommendation letters for this award exemplify her scientific expertise, notable accomplishments, and her unwavering commitment to advancing diversity and inclusivity in her lab. One letter stated, “Several aspects of Dr. Lewis’ research are outstanding. First, she is an exceptionally rigorous and comprehensive scientist. She is bright, independent, driven, and systematic. She is insightful in data interpretation, yet careful to draw well-supported conclusions. She is intellectually curious and genuinely excited by scientific discovery.”
Since joining UC Berkeley in 2019, Lewis has earned accolades for being a gifted and generous teacher and an “exceptional role model and mentor for underrepresented students and women in science at Berkeley and beyond.”
“I'm absolutely overjoyed as well as humbled to receive this award,” said Lewis. “This honor will make a major impact for me, my research team, and our investigations of mitochondrial biology."
In addition to her selection for the Prytanean Faculty Enrichment Award, Lewis has also received the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship this year, among other notable honors.
A graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in zoology, Lewis obtained a Ph.D. in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics from UC Riverside.
Prytanean Faculty Award winners represent various disciplines, research areas, and levels of engagement. Previous recipients include chemist and Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi, law professor Andrea Roth, and astronomer Jessica Lu. Dr. Lewis will be the Chancellor’s guest at an upcoming award ceremony to be held at the University House later this year.