Alicia Abella delivers commencement address

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Fri May 13 13:54:00 EDT 2011

In a well-received commencement speech delivered before the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering, Alicia Abella extolled the virtues of perseverance, hard work, and being open to opportunity.

Her commencement speech—Now that’s a Good Idea—was the college’s first by a woman.


Alicia Abella

Subject matter expert in cloud computing, distributed storage, distributed software systems, mobile services, Internet of Things

Dr. Abella is Assistant Vice President, Cloud Technologies and Services Research Organization - With 19 years of research experience, Dr. Abella has held positions that allow her to demonstrate her skills in a broad research spectrum which have unfolded into her organization’s current responsibilities which include research in cloud computing, distributed storage, mobile services.   

In 2013, Dr. Abella received Columbia University’s Medal of Excellence, an award given each year to an alumnus or alumna, under 45 years of age, whose record in scholarship, public service, or professional life is outstanding. This is the first time since 1929 --when the award was first given-- that Columbia has awarded the medal to an engineer. In 2011, she was selected by President Obama to be on his Presidential Advisory Commission for Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Also in 2011, she was inducted into the prestigious WITI (Women in Technology International) Hall of Fame. In 2010, she was honored as one of the Top Five Women of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine. She is also a member of the elite group of AT&T Science and Technology Medal award winners and recipient of the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

Besides her technical contributions, Dr. Abella has been a strong advocate in fostering the development of minorities and women in science and engineering. As Executive Vice President for the Young Science Achievers program, she has worked tirelessly to bring an interest and excitement in science and engineering to high school aged women and minority students through a program of mentoring and scientific achievement. She has also recently joined the board of the newly created AT&T Women of Technology and Network employee network whose goal it is to encourage and facilitate the recruitment, development, advancement, and retention of women of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing educational and networking opportunities.

Dr. Abella holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University, a M.S. in computer science from Columbia University and a B.S. in computer science from New York University.