Rosa León Zayas wins Renjen Award for Faculty Excellence


Rosa Leon Zayas, assistant professor of biology, was named the 2021 recipient of the Renjen Award for Faculty Excellence. Created with a generous donation from Punit and Heather Renjen, the Renjen Prize supports scholarly and creative endeavors and is awarded annually to a faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences or the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. The award recognizes the achievements of faculty members early in their careers, especially those whose work has been widely disseminated and recognized in the public sphere.

A marine microbiologist whose research focuses on life forms in deep-water trenches, León Zayas joined the faculty of Willamette in 2017. Only six years after her graduate studies, she has already shown remarkable promise and achievement in as a researcher, with no less than five assets. lines of research in progress. His productive and innovative lab has published six research articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and has several manuscripts in preparation. León Zayas is the recipient of four major federal grants or sub-grants to support his work – one each from NIH, NASA, and NSF, as well as the DCO-CoDL Sequencing Grant. A Latinx specialist herself, León Zayas is particularly dedicated to promoting opportunities for underrepresented students in science and founded a Willamette section of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos / Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS ).

Born and raised in India, Punishes Renjen graduated in 1987 from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Renjen is the CEO of Deloitte Global and, over a career spanning more than 30 years, has held a number of management positions within Deloitte. A former member of the board of directors of Willamette University, Renjen is an active member of several boards of directors and currently chairs the board of directors of United Way around the world. It was named one of the 100 most influential business leaders who are graduates of schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. He is married to Heather and they have a son.

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