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Chemist hones leadership skills to increase diversity in STEM

A new generation of underrepresented minority STEM leaders is being trained this week to serve, strengthen and unify communities at local and national levels. These scientists are learning about tools to lead institutional transformation and to help build a critical mass of STEM professionals and leaders from underrepresented communities. The College of Science is proud to be represented by Juan Carlos Ramos.

Ramos is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and works with the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry. He is part of the Postdoctoral Fellow cohort at the SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute jointly led by Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Ramos' research is focused on the design and synthesis of nanostructured materials and the development of solution-based deposition techniques for thin films and their applications in electronic devices. He is also interested in understanding the elemental properties of these materials and devices through extensive physicochemical, morphological and electrical characterization analysis.

The SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute is held July 21-24 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC, is an intensive course featuring small group exercises, leadership development planning, networking opportunities, and extensive community building among selected participants.

Keynote speakers this week include Dr. David Asai, director of the undergraduate science education program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Dr. Monica Ramirez Basco, assistant director for neuroscience, mental health, and broadening participation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Dr. Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of Science magazine.

Since 2009, the SACNAS SLI has trained a cohort of 30 PhD-level scientists each year, making it the largest cohort of emerging STEM leaders of color in the country. Alumni are now executive directors, program directors, assistant deans, department chairs, entrepreneurs, senior scientists in industry, and emerging science policy leaders.

Follow the SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute on social media using the hashtag #SACNAS2015SLI.