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Filomena Nunes wins APS DNP Distinguished Service Award

The Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) of the American Physical Society (APS) has chosen Prof. Filomena Nunes for their Distinguished Service Award, citing “her exceptional and rich contributions toward making the DNP a place where all members can thrive, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, including service as the inaugural chair of the Subcommittee on Harassment Prevention and the creation of the DNP Allies program”. Professor Nunes has appointments at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). She is currently the Managing Director of the FRIB Theory Alliance, and has received the Beal Outstanding Faculty Award from Michigan State in 2019 and was named an APS Fellow in 2015, among other honors.

Under Prof. Nunes’ leadership, the DNP Allies Program was created to help reduce harassment at DNP meetings and provides an avenue for those affected to have the issues addressed in a timely manner, thereby reducing the impact harassment may have on the field of nuclear physics. More than 20 allies, who are leaders in the field of nuclear physics, serve to be ambassadors of the DNP’s commitment to inclusiveness, and have been trained to be effective in helping those who feel harassed. The creation of the program has made a lasting impact on reducing harassment and to make people aware of different forms of harassment and how they impact victims. 

Prof. Nunes performs research in nuclear reaction theory at FRIB, which is critical for ensuring that experimental data obtained from experiments with rare isotope beams can be properly interpreted and help answer questions about the properties of nuclei and how they are created in the universe. Throughout her career, she has been very dedicated to improving the environment for women and people from underrepresented groups in science, greatly benefiting all the members of the communities she is involved with, ranging from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and FRIB, to DNP, and beyond. Recently, she developed a new course “Tools for women in STEM”, which comes highly recommended by students at MSU.