In a long overdue recognition, Ángel N. Santiago Colón and Tania L. Class Martínez have been recognized with the Luis C. Monzón medal to the best students of the 2019-2020 chemical engineering graduating class.
Ángel is also the recipient of the (unnamed) College of Engineering medal to the engineering student with the highest GPA, 4.0 out of 4.0, and the outstanding Luis Stefani Rafucci medal to the top student of the UPRM with the highest GPA of the graduating class.
Ángel N. Santiago Colón
Ángel is part of the 107th UPRM graduating class. He began his studies in 2013-2014 as part of the engineering articulated program at UPR-Bayamón and later transferred to UPRM. He gained additional professional experiences at Lilly del Caribe and ExxonMobil through the COOP program. As part of the AIChE/IIQPR student chapter participated in the coordination of the association’s outreach activities. He also participated in undergraduate research. He cites his undergraduate research experiences in the labs of professors Carlos Velazquez and Nelson Cardona as valuable in motivating him to continue graduate studies. Currently, he is working towards a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University focusing on experimental catalysis under the supervision of professor Rajamani Gounder. He is recipient of the Purdue Doctoral Fellowship and a 2020 Graduate Research Fellowship of the National Science Foundation. His future plans include continuing his academic career as a professor and researcher.
Tania L. Class Martínez
Tania was part of the 2013-2014 UPRM freshmen cohort and is now part of the 107th UPRM graduating class. In addition to excelling academically, she participated in undergraduate research, the COOP program at Lilly del Caribe and the Eastman Chemical Company, and was an active member of the professional departmental student associations. During her three-year tenure with the Coki Racing Team, she occupied various leadership positions as Chemical Technician, Safety Lead, and co-Captain. During her studies she worked in the labs of professors Lorenzo Saliceti, David Suleiman, and Yomaira Pagan, where she gained research experiences that helped her to decide to continue her graduate studies. Currently, she is working towards her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, where she was awarded the Purdue Doctoral Fellowship. Her work under the mentoring of Prof. Rajamani Gounder focuses in fundamental catalysis. She plans to continue in academia and become a successful professor and researcher.
Awardees of the departmental medal are selected by the faculty amongst all graduating students of the corresponding academic year and certified by the Registrar’s Office. The Department of Chemical Engineering selects the students with the top GPA and may include up to two additional candidates, considering other academic factors such as participation in research, awards, involvement in student organization and leadership, amongst others. Institutional awardees are selected and certified by the Registrar’s Office. Awards are usually presented during the corresponding graduation ceremony. Unfortunately, due to the cancelation of the graduation ceremony after the pandemic and the constraints in the planning of an alternate activity, these recognitions has been on hold.
At the end of this month (February 2021), awardees will be honored by their Colleges in much smaller individual departmental activities following protocols for the safety and prevention of COVID-19. Unfortunately, our awardees are currently out of the island and unable to participate. Thus, we have prepared this brief note to share with our community and encourage them to join us in congratulating Ángel and Tania!
Luis C. Monzón Medal
(translated from past Graduation Programs)
In honor of Luis C. Monzón (1897-1942), distinguished chemical engineer, born in Mayagüez PR, and educated professionally in the Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas (former name of UPRM) and University of Columbia in New York. Taught at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Offered his services as professor, as well as sugar engineer, at the Universidad de Antioquía, Colombia and the (Agricultural) Experimental Station of this colombian city.