The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.
Dr. Maria Dolores Cimini is Adjunct Clinical Professor in the School of Education at the University at Albany, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Assistant Director for Prevention and Program Evaluation of the University's Counseling Center--positions she has held since 1994 and 2006, respectively. She holds an A.B. degree in psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University at Albany, SUNY.
Her mentoring philosophy centers on advancing access to quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research for individuals with disabilities and for women with disabilities in particular. In support of this strategic aim, Dr. Cimini supports her proteges in identifying both the facilitators and the barriers to science and engineering education and career development--guiding them to creative problem-solving to address the barriers and utilize the facilitators to open the doors to opportunity and self-determination.
Dr. Cimini has engaged in research and clinical practice helping to shape policies and infrastructures that support enhanced access to education and training in the sciences for students with disabilities. Through her own experience and background as a psychologist with a visual disability, Dr. Cimini has personally provided informal mentoring to 26 students and early career scientists with disabilities from across the United States, including those entering STEM disciplines at the University at Albany.
Her formal activities at the University involve an undergraduate teaching portfolio of eight courses, one Master's level course and one Ph.D. level course, supervision of the American Psychological Association's pre-doctoral internship training program, and oversight of the prevention and harm reduction program implementation and evaluation in the areas of addictions, violence, suicide prevention and sexual health.
Dr. Cimini has drawn upon her own challenges and harnessed them into national service as a researcher and contributor to the American Psychological Association's (APA) Women with Disabilities in STEM Education Project (of which she was co-chair), and its Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (she was a major participant in developing APA's Resource Guide for Graduate Students in Psychology with Disabilities). She is a member of the Resource Group of Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Cimini is the recipient of numerous research awards from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. In 2012, she was recognized by President Obama in a White House ceremony as a "Champion of Change in STEM." Her professional awards, affiliations, leadership and national service activities are extensive.