Engineering PhD recognized for leadership and academic excellence
McMaster engineering PhD candidate Liza-Anastasia DiCecco is the recipient of the 2023 SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit.
This award – presented by the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada – recognizes women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership on campus and in the community, while achieving academic excellence. DiCecco received her award at a reception, hosted at Western University last week.
About Liza-Anastastia DiCecco
DiCecco is a fourth year PhD candidate in Materials Engineering whose doctoral research focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind biomineralization processes, fundamental to the repair of hard tissues like bone and understanding diseases like osteoporosis, by using and developing advanced electron microscopy (EM) methods. She has established herself as an emerging leader in the EM field, where she is one of the few researchers in Canada innovating liquid EM tools to visualize real-time dynamic reactions in native hydrated environments. DiCecco holds a Vanier Scholarship and is the current student representative of the Microscopical Society of Canada, where she advocates for microscopy trainee-centred opportunities nationally.
Outside of the lab, DiCecco volunteers in mentorship programs, outreach activities, and McMaster’s Women in Science and Engineering team. She promotes STEM activities to broad audiences and advocates for inclusivity and accessibility within STEM fields. DiCecco has a passion for teaching and has been involved in pedagogical research, striving to make materials science education more fun through gamification. Beyond McMaster, DiCecco has been involved with the Hammer City Roller Derby (HCRD), a non-profit athletic organization. While a member of the Board of Directors and leader of HCRD’s Juniors program, DiCecco promoted a positive, inclusive space for athleticism for all people.
Awards and scholarships