Our Story

Since 2014, Sustainable Horizons Institute has been providing sustained academic support and professional development to over 450 scientists and engineers from underrepresented communities and building sustainable, inclusive connections between hundreds of students, faculty, and professionals in science and technology.

Dr. Mary Ann Leung launched SHI after successful careers in software, computational science, and academic guidance. A non-traditional student herself, Dr. Leung worked in the software industry for 16 years before returning to school and discovering her love of science while completing a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She went on to pursue an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computational Physical Chemistry. Not finding the support she needed during her doctoral program, she founded a women in science organization to help classmates and herself navigate the field and support each other. 

Dr. Leung would go on to develop and implement novel programming for women and under-represented minorities at a community college. She then became program manager for the prestigious Department of Energy’s Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) program that had funded her own research. As a result of her efforts, in five years, DOE CSGF doubled the number and overall quality of applicants, including a doubling and, in some cases, quadrupling the number of underrepresented minority applications. As she gained national recognition for her innovations, she realized that she wanted a platform that could provide broader, deeper, and more sustained support to students and encourage diversity and inclusion in science and technology as a whole. 

The result is the Sustainable Horizons Institute. 

SHI programs have helped thousands of underrepresented students learn about, aim for, and achieve career goals in the top echelons of science and technology.

The first SHI program was a workshop to help 20 women and minorities prepare and submit competitive proposals to present their research at a major computational science and high-performance computing conference. As a result, one student got his paper accepted at a highly competitive conference. Since these humble beginnings, over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff have connected through SHI programs. 

• Over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff connected through SHI programs. 

• 50% indicated the SRP experience changed how they saw themselves as scientists