Luis De Jesus: From Undergraduate to Assist. Prof.

In  2018  and  2019,  this  DMREF  team  organized  workshops  at  the 
University of Puerto Rico-Cayey to introduce students to the Materials 
Genome Initiative, theory-driven materials design, and the challenges 
with  energy  storage  and  conversion.  In  each  year  of  the  grant, 
undergraduate students from Cayey were recruited to work in DMREF 
laboratories. Luis de Jesus was a PhD student with DMREF PI Sarajit 
Banerjee  at  Texas A&M.  He  was  a  significant  contributor  to  both  the 
team’s   research   and   outreach   efforts.   De   Jesus   and   Banerjee 
received  the  2018  Robert  S.  Hyer  Graduate  Student  and  Mentor 
Awards from  the American Physical Society. After completing a post-
doctoral  stint  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  Luis  has  accepted  a 
tenure-track  faculty  position  in  the  Department  of  Chemistry  at  the 
University  of  Buffalo,  exemplifying  a  significant  success  with  training 
members  of  underrepresented  groups  for  a  career  in  academia. 
Banerjee has been named the 2021 recipient of the SWRM American 
Chemical  Society  Stanley  C.  Israel Award  for Advancing  Diversity  in 
the  Chemical  Sciences  recognizing  in  part  the  Texas  A&M  and 
University at Buffalo Initiative funded by the DMREF award to forge a 
partnership  with  the  University  of  Puerto  Rico  Cayey.  The  award 
recognizes  individuals  who  have  advanced  diversity  in  the  chemical 
sciences  &  significantly  stimulated  or  fostered  activities  that  promote 
inclusiveness.  He  has  also  been  named  the  2021  recipient  of  Texas 
A&M Leadership in Equity & Diversity Award.