Chemistry graduate student receives two University leadership awards

Student is first-ever in CSE to receive the Josie R. Johnson award

Chemistry graduate student Rebeca “Becky” Rodriguez has received two University of Minnesota honors—the Spring 2021 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award and the President’s Student Leadership and Service Award. Rodriguez is the first recipient from the College of Science & Engineering in the 23-year history of the Josie R. Johnson award.

Rodriguez, a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in Professor Christy Haynes’ lab, was recognized for her work to further diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) in STEM on the Twin Cities campus and beyond. Last year, she worked with the University of Minnesota Student Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science to organize a workshop on research experiences for undergraduates for students attending local academic colleges and universities such as Metropolitan State, Augsburg, and Century College. She is currently planning a local symposium for BIPOC undergraduates in the Twin Cities along with others in the Haynes group.

Rodriguez is the recipient of two donor-supported fellowships in the College of Science and Engineering—the Richard D. Amelar and Arthur S. Lodge Fellowship and the Lester C. and Joan M. Krogh Endowed Fellowship.

She has participated in multiple STEM outreach programs through the CSE Department of Chemistry’s Energy & U, the Science Museum of Minnesota, Women in Science and Engineering, and the local American Chemical Society chapter.

Rodriguez also shares her expertise on how to apply to graduate school with students throughout the United States through the online platform Científico Latino.

The U of M President’s Student Leadership & Service Award is given to outstanding students for their leadership and service both at the University and in the surrounding community. The Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award, established in honor of Minnesota civil rights activist Josie R. Johnson, recognizes faculty, staff, and students who exemplify Johnson’s commitment to creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments.

Story republished from the Department of Chemistry website.