AT&T research scientist Alicia Abella, Ph.D. has been appointed to the prestigious Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Dr. Abella, executive director of technical research at AT&T Labs, is a leader in the nation’s efforts to encourage minorities and women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, commonly known as STEM fields.
The Commission, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama, will support the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and its director, Juan Sepúlveda, and provide advice on matters pertaining to the educational attainment of the Hispanic community. Members represent a broad range of sectors including science, business, academia and the arts.
“I am honored to serve on this important commission whose mission is aligned with my long-standing effort to help minority and female students achieve their educational objectives,” said Dr. Abella. “I owe my professional success to my education, and have made it my personal objective to help our youth reach adulthood with the educational background they will need to achieve their own version of the American dream.”
At AT&T Labs Dr. Abella manages a group of researchers specializing in data mining, user interfaces, IPTV, mobile services, SIP/VoIP technology, and environmental sustainability. She has a Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University, a M.S. from Columbia and B.S. from NYU, both in computer science.
Dr. Abella is a strong advocate of fostering the development of minorities and women in science and engineering. As executive vice president for the Young Science Achievers program, she works tirelessly to bring an interest and excitement in science and engineering to high school-aged women and minority students through a program of mentoring and scientific achievement. She also chairs the AT&T Labs Fellowship program, in which she helps encourage, advise and evaluate candidates for a prestigious graduate scholarship from AT&T targeted at women and minorities.
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Director Juan Sepúlveda said Abella will help the Commission discover new ways to increase Latino educational attainment, which is important in the global contest for the jobs and industries of the future.
Other individuals appointed by President Obama to the Commission include Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón (chair) and César Conde of Florida; Francisco G. Cigarroa, Ricardo Romo, Sylvia Acevedo and JoAnn Gama of Texas; Darline P. Robles and Patricia Gándara of California; Marta Tienda of New Jersey; Luis R. Fraga of Washington; Maria Neira and Lisette Nieves of New York; Daniel Cardinali of Virginia; Manny Sanchez of Illinois; and Alfredo J. Artiles of Arizona.