Rigoberto Hernandez

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Rigoberto Hernandez will present two lectures at The College of Wooster on Thursday, Sept. 24.


Advocate for Diversity in the Sciences to Deliver Phi Beta Kappa Lectures

Rigoberto Hernandez to speak at The College of Wooster on Sept. 24

22 September, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio – Rigoberto Hernandez, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology and a leading proponent of diversity in the sciences, will present two lectures at The College of Wooster as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars program on Thursday, Sept. 24. The first presentation, which will be held in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.) at 11 a.m., is technical in nature and addresses “Controlling Chemical Reactions by Kicking Their Environs.” The second lecture, which will take place in Room 009 of Severance Hall (943 College Mall) at 7:30 p.m., is aimed at a more general audience and is titled, “Advancing Science Through Diversity.” Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Hernandez, who earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and mathematics at Princeton and his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, is co-director of the Center for Computational Molecular Science and Technology, and director of the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE). He joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1996 and is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Chemical Society (ACS). He also is a recipient of the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Consider Careers in the Chemical Sciences.

Hernandez specializes in nonequilibrium phenomenon with a particular emphasis on dynamics in complex environments, which involves the extent to which microscopic reaction dynamics are affected by macroscopic or observable chemical reaction rates in arbitrary solvent environments. Sample systems include the dynamics of catalyzed reactions, adsorbate diffusion on metal surfaces, and protein motions.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776. It is the nation’s oldest and most recognized academic honor society with chapters at 283 colleges and universities, and more than half a million members throughout the United States. The mission of the organization is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.

Hernandez’s lectures are sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa’s Visiting Scholar Program, which has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars since 1956. Additional support is provided by the Phi Beta Kappa Society as well as the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, the Department of Chemistry, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at The College of Wooster.

Information about the lecture is available by e-mail.