Evelyn Valdez-Ward


Dra. Evelyn Valdez-Ward has the distinction of being Metcalf Institute’s first postdoctoral fellow. She is aiding in the development of a training curriculum and evaluation for faculty of color in science communication on Metcalf’s newest initiative, the SciComm Identities Project, in collaboration with the Michigan State University Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. Evelyn is a formerly undocumented Mexican immigrant who earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). As a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Switzer Foundation Fellow, she studied the effects of drought on plants and soil microbes and later expanded her research to include marginalized scientists’ use of science communication and policy for social justice. She was named one of 2020’s Grist 50 Fixers and a 2018 UCS Science Defender, voted best of Story Collider 2018 in Los Angeles, awarded UCI’s Dynamic Womxn’s Award for Outstanding Social Justice Activist, and the Svetlana Bershadsky Graduate Community Award for her advocacy for undocumented scientists. She was also a 2020 AAAS Mass Media Fellow and won the Ecological Society of America Science Communication in Practice Award. Evelyn co-founded and co-directs the ReclaimingSTEM Institute, the first space to address the need for science communication and policy training spaces for marginalized groups.