STAR Award to Julio de Paula
February 28, 2020
The Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has awarded Professor of Chemistry Julio de Paula the 2020 Cottrell STAR (Science Teaching and Research) Award. This prestigious award is “designed to recognize the outstanding research and educational accomplishments of members of the community of Cottrell Scholars.” Dr. de Paula was named a Cottrell Scholar in 2015, in itself an honor that made him eligible for nomination for the STAR Award.
Dr. de Paula’s research and teaching activities have had broad impact in both his disciplinary field and on student learning. He has mentored 59 undergraduates and two postdoctoral fellows; received over $3.2M in external support for individual and collaborative projects; presented 33 invited lectures on photochemistry, nanoscience, spectroscopy, and photobiology; published several editions of four textbooks, 38 research articles, four book chapters, and numerous essays and conference proceedings. Further, he has taught courses in general, physical, inorganic, environmental, analytical, materials, biological chemistry, and E&D. This is in addition to serving in a number of leadership roles, such as co-Director of the Pathways to Success in STEM Program and Dean of the College at Lewis & Clark, and Program Director in the Chemistry Division of the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation in 2011-12.
Throughout his career, undergraduate students have played a central role in Dr. de Paula’s research. His early work on porphyrin nanorods was transformational in the field; it has evolved and continues today with undergraduates in his lab at Lewis & Clark. Over the past several years his research has expanded into archaeometry—the application of physical, chemical, and biological methods of analysis to archaeology. Most recently, working with collaborators, Dr. de Paula and his students have been investigating and characterizing 15th century paintings in Mallorca, Spain. Using chemical research as a platform, this multi-disciplinary study utilizes spectroscopy and other techniques to connect the pigments used in paintings to the history and culture of the community. A 2018 RCSA SEED grant is building on this research to pilot free online resources for chemistry students and faculty around the world.
As a recipient of this award, Dr. de Paula will give a plenary talk at the summer Cottrell Scholar Conference. The RCSA announcement about the 2020 STAR award is available here.