Destino Named a 2021 Cottrell Scholar Award Recipient

Joel Destino, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry, is among 25 outstanding teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy named recipients of the $100,000 Research Corporation for Science Advancement’s 2021 Cottrell Scholar Awards.

“Joel is only the second Cottrell scholar from a Nebraska institution since the program started in 1994,” said David Dobberpuhl, PhD, chair of the Department of Chemistry. “His selection not only recognizes his scholarship, but his emerging leadership in education and innovations in teaching analytical chemistry.”

Destino’s award project, “Bottoms Up: Investigating the Growth and Glass-Forming Properties of Germania-Containing Colloids,” focuses on the advancement of fundamental chemistry to design novel, glass-forming particles that can be used to 3D print optical quality glasses.

Destino’s plans to build on his ongoing pedagogical and research mentorship work through the development of remote-flexible or at-home laboratory experiments – course modules that integrate issues at the interface of social justice and science. He is also focused on recruitment and mentorship of undergraduate and high school researchers with a particular emphasis on providing opportunities to traditionally underrepresented students in STEM.

Cottrell Scholar Award recipients are chosen through a rigorous peer-review process of applications from top research universities, degree-granting research institutes, and primarily undergraduate institutions in the United States and Canada. Their award proposals incorporate both science education and research.

“In these challenging times, more than ever, science needs young faculty with fresh ideas and a commitment to student success,” said RCSA president and CEO Daniel Linzer. “The 2021 class is a diverse, dedicated and welcome addition to the Cottrell Scholar community.”

As their careers advance, Cottrell Scholars become eligible to compete for several additional levels of funding to further their academic careers. The group meets each July at the annual Cottrell Scholar Conference to network, exchange ideas and develop collaborative projects to tackle pressing educational issues with potential national impact.