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The Nuria Protopopescu Memorial Fund

Nuria Protopopescu
Nuria Protopopescu
9/21/1982 - 5/13/2012

The Nuria Protopopescu Memorial Fund was created in 2012 to honor the late Nuria Protopopescu, a PhD student at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. The fund supports the Nuria Protopopescu Memorial Teaching Award, given annually to recognize outstanding teaching by a SoMAS graduate student.

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Nuria Protopopescu obtained her B.Sc. in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences with distinction from McGill University in Montreal Canada in 2004. She came to Stony Brook University in 2005 as a PhD student in Marine Geochemistry. Her research involved development of a planar calcium sensor for use in marine environments. Her previous research experience included work as a Research Assistant at the Weed Science Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences, McGill University, at the Southwest Fisheries Research Center in La Jolla CA, and at Stony Brook Hospital Department of Neuroscience.

Nuria was a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher. She served as a volunteer instructor for Stony Brook's WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) college and precollege programs and for seven years as an instructor and Teaching Assistant at the Stony Brook Department of Chemistry. Her creative instructional methods included a lab exercise where students made molecular models from gummy bears and toothpicks and an essay assignment to discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life based on silicon instead of carbon.

Nuria's numerous awards included the Brookhaven National Laboratory Brookhaven Science Associates Scholarship, the McGill University Gold Key Award for outstanding contributions to extracurricular activities, the Jeff Mills Memorial Scholarship and Sandra Letendre Memorial Prize, the Stony Brook University President's Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, three National Science Foundation student scholarships to attend ACS Green Chemistry Conferences, and the W. Burghart Turner Dissertation Fellowship.

Nuria was a certified scuba diver, a talented jazz vocalist who performed with several area groups, and held a US Coast Guard Near-coastal OUPV Captain's license. She was often involved in organizing SoMAS social events where her dance moves and party attire were both renowned. Her talent, energy, and enthusiasm eventually resulted in an office door nameplate reading "The Fabulous Nuria Protopopescu ".

Ways to Give

Click here for information regarding the First Annual Fabulous Jazz Revue, a fundraising concert scheduled for December 10, 2012.

Donations may be made by check payable to "Stony Brook Foundation", with the notation "For Nuria Protopopescu fund" in the memo field, mailed to:

Stefanie Massucci
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook NY 11794-5000
Tel: 631-632-8781

An online link for donations will be coming soon.


The fund is supported by donations from friends and colleagues of Nuria, and by the annual "Fabulous Jazz" Revue.

For more information, e-mail Thomas Wilson at


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