Usha Rao is a researcher, speaker, and consultant. She is a recipient of the Association for Women in Science’s Zenith award, a lifetime award for achievement, leadership, and advocacy by senior scientists; the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching; the Distinguished Lectureship for research from the Association for Women Geoscientists; and the Bingham Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the Association for Women in Science. For over 25 years, she has served as a mentor and advocate for the participation of talented women and minorities in STEM fields through professional societies in science. Dr. Rao was invited by Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to participate in the “PA Women in STEM” video series to encourage K-12 girls to explore these fields. She serves as a writer and speaker on leadership, sustainability, and inclusive excellence for the science trade magazine Lab Manager.
At Saint Joseph’s University, Dr. Rao created the Office of Teaching and Learning, which provides resources and guidance to hundreds of faculty members, serving as Founding Director. She also co-developed the John P. McNulty Program for Leadership in Science and Mathematics, an initiative that has since supported over 110 gifted young women in science and mathematics. Dr. Rao’s board service includes the Ardmore Library of the Lower Merion Library System and the Frances M. Maguire Art Museum at the Barnes Arboretum.