Congratulations to Entomology professor Dr. Raul Medina as he received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Diversity during the College’s Awards Ceremony on September 20 in the AgriLife Center.
Medina has been honored with the award for his outstanding commitment and hard work in keeping diversity in both his research team and recruiting efforts both on and off campus. Since Medina joined the department in 2006, three-fourths of his graduate, undergraduate students, and postdoctoral research associates in his lab have come from underrepresented groups.
Medina also helps to bring an awareness to diversity and its challenges to members of his lab during his weekly meetings. He addresses the challenges of underrepresented groups in the modern workforce by reading and discussing scholarly work on underrepresented professionals and their challenges they face in today’s scientific world.
Medina’s graduate students also share his passion for diversity in that many are partially funded by Texas A&M Sloan Foundation Exemplary Mentorship Program and the Texas A&M University Graduate Diversity Fellowship. They are also supported through many of the excellence fellowships offered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Several of his current lab members also are following in his footsteps as they are very active members of the Texas A&M University Women In Science and Engineering organization, where they are helping to bring awareness to diversity and increase the number of underrepresented voices in leadership positions.
“The students that Dr. Medina attracts to his lab are exceptionally gifted students who are poised to accomplish great things,” Entomology Department Head Dr. David Ragsdale said.
In his service to the Department, Medina has worked hard to increase the number of underrepresented faculty and students in the numerous committees he has been a member of or led as chair, including the Graduate Recruitment and Admission, Awards, and two faculty search committees.
He also has led to acquiring funds to help increase the diversity of recruitment activities in 2016 and has organized a symposium at the national Entomological Society of America to increase the number of Hispanic professionals in entomology.
Medina also has served as a panel member for the national Ford Foundation Fellowship, the Texas A&M Diversity Fellowship, and as a counselor for the Entomological Society of America’s SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program. As a SEEDS mentor, Medina has been able to be a mentor undergraduate students from underrepresented groups at national professional meetings, as well as recruiting new Ph.D. students for the Department.
In addition to the award, Medina also was recognized for his recent promotion to professor during the ceremony.