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A professor at Reed College has won a prestigious award -- here's your chance to meet her

DAVID F. ASHTON - Reed College Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Anna Ritz was the recipient of the 2020 Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award. In mid-November, Reed College virtually hosted the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust's annual "Murdock College Science Research Program Conference".

As part of the conference, Reed College Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Anna Ritz was recognized – with the prestigious, "Lynwood W. Swanson 'Promise for Scientific Research' Award".

Speaking later with Dr. Ritz, along S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, safely distanced on the edge of the Reed College campus, THE BEE learned about the award.

"Being given this award feels really fantastic; but, it's really more of a testament to the students that I've worked with who have done amazing things, and have helped me build our Computational Biology program here at Reed College," Ritz demurred.

She said the Swanson "Promise for Scientific Research Award" is given to faculty members who are within the first ten years of their career at smaller liberal arts schools in the Pacific Northwest. "It's an acknowledgment that a faculty member is working to help students doing real, necessary research," Ritz explained.

Although she's a faculty member in Reed's Biology Department, her field is "Computational Biology". That is, she is a computer scientist in a biology department that analyzes biological data. "I teach students how to make sense of the really big data sets that biology is now producing," remarked Ritz. "So, we need computational skills to even understand what these new biological technologies are providing to us!"

As she turned to leave, Ritz confided, "I feel fortunate that Reed College put me forward as their nominee this year for this award – especially during the pandemic!"

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