Juan Fernando Maestre selected as President's Postdoctoral Fellow

Computer Science & Engineering (CS&E) is delighted to announce that Juan Fernando Maestre will be joining the department this fall as a University of Minnesota President’s Postdoctoral Fellow.

Maestre will be CS&E’s first fellow in the new CSE-President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, a partnership between the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) and the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy that aims to make CSE more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

The fellowship program, based on a highly successful model at the University of California, aims to attract outstanding scholars from groups historically underrepresented in higher education. The program offers promising postdoctoral candidates the opportunity to spend two years gaining research experience and receiving support to ultimately be strong candidates for tenure track positions in the future.

“The main goal of this program is to mentor and empower fellows toward developing independent research with high impact, and to help build the professional skills needed for a successful academic career,” stated Ellen Longmire, CSE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “Furthermore, we hope the fellows will be able to network beyond their department and contribute to the University's vision of a diverse, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating environment.”

Juan Fernando Maestre is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. He conducts research in human computer interaction with a focus on stigmatized and marginalized groups. Specifically, he is investigating the role of technologies in addressing disparities and increasing inclusion in high-stigma health contexts, such as living with HIV.

"I am so excited and grateful to have been selected as a President's Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota!" shared Maestre. "This opportunity will certainly allow me to learn from and work with renowned researchers in my field. I can hardly think of a better place to continue with my research, give back to the communities I work with, and consolidate efforts for more egalitarian and inclusive spaces in research and teaching."

He will be joining the GroupLens research lab, working under the direction of CS&E faculty members Lana Yarosh and Stevie Chancellor.

“In addressing disparities and increasing inclusion in high-stigma health contexts, Fernando's work dovetails readily with my and Stevie's research on designing technologies to support people in recovery from substance use disorders, which is also a health context where people face substantial stigma,” said associate professor Lana Yarosh.

“We are particularly excited to be working with Fernando on developing novel computer-supported research methods for community-based participatory design,” continued Yarosh. “This is an area where he has been an early innovator and a leading researcher, even as a graduate student.”

“We are thrilled to have Fernando join our College in the fall,” said Dean Longmire. “Fernando will make a great addition to CS&E efforts in human-computer interaction and applying his efforts toward issues experienced by underrepresented communities.”