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Antonya Sanders—Promoting nanoscience integration through outreach

Bringing together university faculty, students, researchers and other Laboratory scientists to explore nanoscale science.
March 17, 2014
Antonya Sanders

Sanders' focus on serving others began early on: she lived in England and traveled the world to find ways to help others, including aiding Bosnian refugees.

    Sanders leads communication and outreach for the Lab’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), a user facility that attracts researchers from around the world.

    Promoting nanoscience integration through outreach

    Although raised in Los Alamos, Antonya Sanders knows what it is like to be a foreigner.

    The daughter of a Czech immigrant, Sanders lived in England and traveled the world to find ways to help others, including aiding Bosnian refugees. She lived on the Pacific island of Kiribati, where she was a Peace Corps’ volunteer and teacher for three years, living in a thatch hut on the beach with no electricity, no running water and a constant rat problem.

    She had opportunities at home to make a difference, too.

    Addressing the needs of a diverse workforce

    Los Alamos is very diverse, with thousands of international employees and on-site collaborators at the Lab. During college, Sanders worked in human resources and in the Lab’s postdoc office, and she wanted to help foreigners scale cultural obstacles, so she launched the Lab’s Student Association.

    Inspired by her parents, both teachers, Sanders studied special education; but she soon realized there were ways besides teaching that would allow her to help the less fortunate. She interned at the United Nations, focused on social progress in the developing world, and obtained a master’s degree from the prestigious international business school, Thunderbird, in 2004.

    It’s a small world: aiding global health and education

    Now married with two children, Sanders leads communication and outreach for the Lab’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), a user facility that attracts researchers from around the world.

    CINT supports nanoscale science with the development of nanomaterials, but the center’s science and technology also aids development of early warning methods to detect and stop cancer and even global biothreats.

    Helping others reach their goals

    A willing listener, Sanders likes to facilitate communications for newcomers and veterans alike to help them reach their goals.

    Still dedicated to service, she volunteers for Rotary International and also wants to help develop education for girls and women—just a few reasons why she was selected as one of this year’s Women Who Inspire at the Lab.

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