Bio Prof Hailed As Outstanding Mentor

Prof. Anna Ritz wins national award for mentorship in the field of computing.

By Chris Lydgate ’90 | April 4, 2019

Prof. Anna Ritz has won the Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology for providing “outstanding mentorship” to Reed students in the field of computation. The award also recognizes her work in providing research opportunities, recruiting women and minority students, and generally encouraging students in computing.

“I am honored to receive the award, and it wouldn't have been possible without the fantastic undergrads that I have worked with,” she says.

Prof. Ritz is a computer scientist who specializes in computational biology. Since arriving at Reed in 2015, she has mentored 25 students in thesis, summer research, or independent studies. She has supervised several projects in which students applied computer science to the field of systems biology, including one exploring the use of hypergraphs to represent cancer cell data. Women and non-binary individuals make up the majority of students in her intro classes.

Prof. Ritz also recently won a major grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how signaling pathways go haywire in colon cancer.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase girls’ and women’s meaningful participation in computing. In May, Prof. Ritz will travel to its annual summit in Nashville, Tennessee, to receive the award, which includes a prize of $5,000 for research.

Tags: Awards & Achievements, Cool Projects, Professors