2022 KNI Catalyst Award Winner and Runners Up

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Materials Science graduate researcher Rebecca Gavillian receives the 2022 KNI Catalyst Award for her mentorship and outreach efforts.

2022 KNI Catalyst Award Winner

April 17, 2022

We are very pleased to announce that Rebecca Gallivan, fifth-year Materials Science graduate student researcher in the Greer lab, has been named the recipient of the 2022 KNI Catalyst Award, which recognizes change agents, community leaders, and/or allies in the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts on campus or in STEM fields.

During her time at Caltech, Rebecca has dedicated an extensive amount of time to mentoring students at the K-12 and undergraduate level on the fundamentals of materials science and experimental research. Among her many roles, Rebecca is a Graduate Resident Associate and supports her peers by hosting educational, mental health and DEI-related events. She works closely with Caltech's Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach and participated in science exposition events at ten Title I schools, connecting with over 1,400 students, teachers and family members. For the past several summers, Rebecca has served as a mentor for undergraduate researchers through the SURF and WAVE program.

Read our interview with Rebecca to hear what has inspired her, her experiences in STEM, outreach and Caltech, and what she plans to do next.

Congratulations, Rebecca!

Honorable Mentions

We received several fantastic nominations for this year's Catalyst Award, and we want want to highlight their tremendous efforts here.

Abigail (Abby) JiangAbigail (Abby) Jiang

Abby is the co-President of Caltech APIDA+, a student group for those who identify with Asian Pacific Islander Desi American identities and their allies. Through APIDA+, Abby organizes and leads educational and social events as well as healing spaces. Abby is also a student leader for PRISM, an organization for Caltech's LGBTQIA+ community.

Levi PalmerLevi Palmer

Levi is an organizer and leader in PRISM, where he coordinates STEM outreach events for local middle and high schools and holds spaces to support the queer community on campus. He served on the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee (CGSC) in 2021, which helped to implement change within the division, from graduate applications, to mentorship, to gender-inclusive bathrooms. Levi is the outreach coordinator for the Diversity in Chemistry Initiative (DICI), where he liaises with students and faculty at Pasadena Community College.

Cora WentCora Went

Cora is an advocate for environmental protection and sustainable energy policy. She works with Sunrise Movement Los Angeles whose mission is to advance intersectional climate justice and bring public awareness to the disproportionate impact that climate change has on socioeconomic and racial demographics. Cora also provides valuable research mentorship to her peers at Caltech.

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