Tonya Peeples joined the University of Iowa in 1995. She earned her Ph.D. in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She is the mother of two, wife of one, and mentor to many. Her Chemical and Biochemical Engineering group carries out bioconversions that are offer more sustainable chemical processes. She received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 1997 and a Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers in 2004. She has mentored over 50 undergraduate researchers in her laboratory
As Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach for the College of Engineering, Professor Peeples strives to build and nourish the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community. Values of inclusion guide her to create an environment that welcomes diverse faculty, staff, and students into STEM and into the engineering disciplines. She received the 2011 Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service to the University and the State of Iowa and the 2013 Diversity Catalyst Award from the University of Iowa.