Four Chemistry Graduate and Undergraduate Students Recognized for Leadership and Service

Two chemistry graduate students, Maetzin Cruz-Reyes and Rebeca Rodriguez, and two undergraduate chemistry majors, Meghan Cahill and Jeffy Jeffy are 2021 recipients of the President’s Student Leadership & Service Award (PSLSA).  This award "recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. It is presented to students for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.”  This year’s Chemistry award winners were recognized for their outstanding leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, mental health advocacy, and COVID19 planning efforts.

The quotes below are taken from their nomination statements, and as featured on the PSLSA website.

portrait of Maetzin Cruz Reyes

Maetzin Cruz-Reyes, Chemistry Ph.D. student

“One leadership experience I am most proud of is how the Community of Chemistry Graduate Students (CCGS) have been able to continue serving our peers by providing different events for them to attend either online or socially distanced, from trivia night to meet & greets with department animals.”

Jeffy Jeffy

Jeffy Jeffy, Chemistry BS student, minor in Computer Science

“I am most proud of my involvement with CSE’s Diversity & Inclusion team. Being part of this team, I was able to help create the first CSE D*IU focused newsletter, developed a scholarship database, planned social events, networking opportunities and more, for BIPOC and first generation college students.”

Becky Rodriguez

Rebeca S. Rodriguez, Chemistry Ph.D. student

“I am most proud of the work I’ve done to make my department, CSE, and UMN, more equitable for BIPOC, marginalized and/or first-generation students. Through outreach, networking and leadership, I’ve worked incredibly hard to recruit and retain students in STEM as their backgrounds bring so much to UMN.”

Meghan Cahill

Meghan Cahill, Chemistry BS student, minors in Communications and Biology

“I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do around COVID-19 safety in the residence halls and helping our first-year students build connections and community at the university safely.”

The complete list of 2021 recipients is available here: