Arianna Celis Luna, an MSU graduate student, was recently named “future leader of higher education” by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Celis Luna was given the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award for her devotion to research of pathogenic bacteria and her commitment to sharing and furthering her knowledge. The award is unique as it recognizes more than academic excellence and is given to recognize those “whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning” by the standards of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Celis Luna’s abundant accomplishments make her a well-qualified addition to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at MSU.
Celis Luna spends time with youth in the community through the Montana Science Olympiad and the Expanding Your Horizons program, along with other MSU events. She hopes to continue scientific research and potentially pursue career paths in academia as she enjoys educating young children. Celis Luna said she “would like to educate future scientists and inspire and support them the way my mentors have inspired and supported me.”
Jennifer Dubois, associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, in whose lab Celis Luna performs research, said, “[Celis Luna] is not just a good student and motivated scientist, she is one of the most well-rounded students I’ve ever mentored.” Celis Luna’s accomplishments speak to this, as her work has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Biological Chemistry and ACS Biochemistry. Two years ago she was awarded the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship, and in May, 2017 presented her research at the Kopriva Science Seminar. Here on campus, she is the event coordinator of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Association.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities brought Celis Luna to their annual meeting a few weeks ago in Washington, D.C., where the final seven recipients were presented the award.