Cindy Avitia High School
San Jose, California
“The process of scientific thinking resonates with me due to the powerful combination of evidence, logic, and critical thinking; while the body of scientific knowledge provides a constant source of awe, beauty, and intrigue.”
As an undergraduate student, Brian tutored high school students in chemistry, physics and math. He also worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the University of Oregon’s Institute of Molecular Biology and at the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Department of Chemistry, studying amino acid surface modification of proteins and electron transfer in monolayers of gold nanoparticles, respectively. For one year, he worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Heidelberg’s Department of Chemistry, studying self-assembled monolayers for anti-fouling coatings. Next, Brian returned to the states to begin graduate studies in chemistry. Concurrently, he worked as a Graduate Student Instructor for various chemistry courses and as a Graduate Research Assistant, researching metal/metal oxide interfaces for enhanced catalytic activity. While enrolled in doctoral studies, Brian worked as a graduate student mentor. In his research, he developed new syntheses for tungsten oxide nanowires and demonstrated their application in electrochromic smart windows. After trying to have a positive effect on the world through scientific research, Brian came to the realization that he could have a larger impact if he invested in people, instead of technology. When paired with his belief in the importance of education and his love of being in the classroom, Brian decided to pursue a career in education.
Brian is the author of seven published journal articles. Additionally, he was the Drug, Chemical, and Associated Technologies Association 2014 named fellowship recipient for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship. From 2010–2014, he participated in the Merage Foundation Fellows Program for Interdisciplinary Nanoscience.
Brian enjoys learning, rock climbing, visiting museums or other cultural institutions, and spending time with family and friends.
- Montclair State University (Master of Arts in Teaching)
- Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Doctor of Philosophy in Nanoscale Science and Engineering)
- University of California, Berkeley (Master of Science in Chemistry)
- University of California, Santa Cruz (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)