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XSEDE Campus Champion Dina Tandabany Receives 2019 HBCU STEM Innovator Award

By Kimberly Mann Bruch, San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

This year's 2019 Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Innovator Awardees included XSEDE participant Dina Tandabany (second from left). Credit: 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference


Last month, Dr. Dinadayalane (Dina) Tandabany was one of seven nationwide faculty presented with the 2019 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Innovator Award at the 33rd Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference hosted by Lockheed Martin, US Black Engineer Magazine, and the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU).

Tandabany, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Atlanta, who specializes in computational chemistry and bionanoscience, has served as an XSEDE Campus Champion since 2015. Through this program, he has assisted dozens of new XSEDE users to get up and running after they receive their initial allocation(s).

"In addition to my own research goals to further the advancement of computational bionanoscience, I am focused on increasing the number of under-represented undergraduate and graduate students in computational chemistry and nanoscience research by helping HBCU XSEDE users learn best practices for their use of high performance computing (HPC)," said Tandabany.

Not only has Tandabany played an important role in the XSEDE Campus Champions program and conducted his own research, he has implemented computational and data science curriculum. "Dina has made a real impact for faculty and students at CAU as well as other XSEDE users around the U.S.," said Linda Akli, manager of XSEDE's Broadening Participation team and assistant director of training, education, and outreach for the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). "Dina is part of a grant to develop a computational curriculum with Ohio Supercomputer Center and SURA to expand access to computational and data science curriculum at under-resourced institutions and most recently has helped our group develop new curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students, and hosted an XSEDE faculty development workshop at CAU in collaboration with Spelman College."

The XSEDE Resource Allocations Committee (XRAC) Materials Science Review Team has also benefitted from the hard work of Tandabany. "Dina has been a fabulous addition to the XSEDE XRAC panel, always there stepping up to help to chair the materials science session and taking on extra proposals when I am in a pinch - we would love to have 50 more reviewers like him," said Ken Hackworth, XSEDE Allocations manager at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Dina Tandabany's current XSEDE projects involve the computational investigation of the binding of amino acids with graphene (DMR 160170) and assisting new users with XSEDE via his Campus Champion allocation. Additionally, he served as a judge for posters and external mentor for graduate students at the 2017 Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) Conference in New Orleans. Previously, Dr. Tandabany has used XSEDE allocations on Comet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), Stampede2 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC),  and Bridges at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) as well as other resources throughout the XSEDE community to conduct his chemistry and materials research projects.