AAAS Mentor Award
2010 Award Recipient
Joseph M. DeSimone
Joseph M. DeSimone is honored for his dedication to advancing diversity in the chemistry Ph.D. workforce.
Joseph M. DeSimone’s dedication to mentorship transcends the chemical sciences and is rooted in his belief that diversification drives innovation. For the past 20 years, he has guided more than 30 students from underrepresented minorities through the completion of Ph.D.s in chemistry or chemical engineering and has mentored more than 20 postdoctoral fellows.
Currently, Dr. DeSimone serves as Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also Founding Director of both the Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology and the Institute for Nanomedicine at UNC, as well as the Co-Director of the Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.
In the classroom, in the laboratory, and in his role as the Director of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes at UNC, Dr. DeSimone has excelled at distinguishing talent within each student, cultivating it, and finding ways for students to gain access to key resources and new opportunities to further their personal growth and professional development. For example, in 2005 he partnered with former mentee Valerie Ashby to launch a chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers on UNC’s campus.
Dr. DeSimone is the recipient of 29 prestigious awards and honors, including being named among the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and was recently awarded the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award.
Dr. DeSimone received a B.S. in chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College and earned his Doctorate in chemistry in 1990 from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
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.
Please click here  for a list of past recipients.