Dr. Diana Ahmad, associate professor of history and political science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named 2011 Woman of the Year by Missouri S&T. Ahmad, who is also the university archivist, was honored during a campus ceremony on Tuesday, April 12.
The Woman of the Year award is given annually in recognition of efforts to improve the campus environment for women and minorities. As part of the award, Ahmad received a $2,000 stipend funded by Missouri S&T graduate Cynthia Tang, founder and former chair of Insight Industries Inc.
“Her support of the students goes beyond the classroom,” wrote one of Ahmad’s nominators. “I have seen them cry on her shoulder, run to her with good news and get in touch years after graduating. She attends every commencement ceremony, where the sheer number of students she knows by name never ceases to amaze me.”
“Dr. Ahmad is a strong, smart woman who is an inspiration to all,” wrote another nominator. “Her students are her progeny. She is passionate about doing what is in their best interest. Dr. Ahmad would leave no stone unturned, no question unanswered, no student’s best interest neither unspoken or unmet! S&T is a better educational institution because of the efforts of Dr. Diana Ahmad.”
An active member of the Missouri S&T Female and Underrepresented Minority Recruitment and Retention Task Force, Ahmad specializes in the history of the American West. She teaches History of the American West, History of the American Pacific, American Environmental History, Modern Japan and Modern East Asia. Her current research projects include the relationship between animals, both wild and domestic, and their human companions on the overland trails to the Pacific. She also researches the role of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific at the turn of the 20th century. She serves as a mentor to students in the Voyager learning community and students who are enrolled in the On Track Student Success Program and serves as a volunteer judge for the Undergraduate Research Conference at Missouri S&T. She is also the faculty advisor for the Catholic Newman Center.
Ahmad is the author of “The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-century American West” and “Spanning the Years: Civil Engineering the Rolla Way.” She has also co-authored a book chapter and authored numerous refereed and non-refereed articles and book reviews and given presentations nationally and internationally.
Ahmad earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1997. She earned a master of arts degree in 1979 and a bachelor of arts degree in 1974, both in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has taught at Missouri S&T since 2000 and was named archivist in 2003. She has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching, outstanding advising and faculty excellence. Prior to that, Ahmad held faculty positions at the State University of New York-Potsdam and UMC.