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.