AAAS Mentor Award
2009 Award Recipient
Luis A. Colón
Luis A. Colón
Luis A. Colón is honored for his deep commitment to advancing diversity in the chemical sciences, leading to an increase in Hispanic American Ph.D.s in chemistry.
The AAAS Mentor Award, established in 1996, honors AAAS members who have mentored significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups or who have changed the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies in the sciences. This award is directed toward individuals in the early- or mid-career stage who have mentored students for less than 25 years. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Luis A. Colón was selected for his success in recruitment and promotion of underrepresented students, advancing diversity in the chemical sciences.
Dr. Colón received his Bachelors of Science in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, his Doctorate in chemistry (analytical) from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and did his postdoctorate work at Stanford University.
He joined the faculty of the University at Buffalo (UB) in 1993 as the first Hispanic member of the graduate program in the Department of Chemistry. Soon after, he voluntarily began recruiting talented students, particularly from the Hispanic population, into the program and into science in general. Dr. Colón also initiated and coordinated efforts that have increased the participation of underrepresented minority groups in summer research experiences at UB and has been involved in many activities at the university and national levels that foster the participation of underrepresented populations in science. He has been an advocate for women in the chemical sciences, mentoring 15 women during their graduate careers, and is involved in projects recruiting Hispanic science, technology, engineering, and math students for the entire university. Many of the students he has mentored have gone on to pursue advanced degrees.
Dr. Colón has received many awards and honors, including the 2003 Faculty of the Year Award, Compact for Faculty Diversity and was a Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Alumni Hall of Fame inductee in 2005, receiving HSF’s Optimista Award.