Congratulations to Emmett Leddin, a UNT Chemistry doctoral candidate, for winning the UNT Golden Eagle Award! Soon-to-be Dr. Leddin recently completed his dissertation work in computational biochemistry under the advisement of Drs. Andres Cisneros and Oliviero Andreussi.
According to the Division of Student Affairs website, the Golden Eagle Award is the "most prestigious award that UNT bestows upon a student leader; recipients show a tremendous commitment to co-curricular activities and enhancing campus life at UNT by engaging in considerable service and displaying great leadership, all while achieving excellence in the classroom."
When asked to comment on winning the award, Dr. Leddin stated "I am honored to be named as a recipient of the Golden Eagle Award for my impact as a student leader on the campus community. When I started at UNT, I did not set out to become as involved as I did. I intended to keep my head down and focus on research in order to complete my degree. However, I quickly found a number of activities and projects that I was passionate about and wanted to contribute to, particularly those focused on mental health and diversity in science.
I started by volunteering with Crisis Text Line. A few months later, I helped found the UNT chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM), and served as their first President. After attending my first oSTEM conference, I realized I could contribute to some of the work happening behind the scenes, and I became a global oSTEM volunteer. One of these projects grew into its own non-profit, THRIVE Lifeline, a text-based crisis hotline for people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) fields with marginalized identities. I have also gotten involved in science communication and mentorship efforts, including Skype-a-Scientist, Letters to a Pre-Scientist, and Científico Latino's Graduate Student Mentorship Initiative.
I would never have been able to be so involved without the unwavering support of my PhD advisor, Dr. G. Andrés Cisneros. He encouraged me to strike a balance between research and community involvement."
Dr. Leddin's nomination was supplemented by recommendations from Drs. Andres Cisneros and Timothy Stephens. Dr. Cisneros commented that "Emmett is an indefatigable advocate and leader in our group and our department." Meanwhile, Dr. Stephens remarked that "Emmett Leddin has done the most amazing things I have ever seen a student do here at UNT. I have been associated with UNT since 2009 and have never met anyone more deserving of this award. Emmett created the oSTEM chapter and immediately came on as their president for their first semester. The response to the creation of this oSTEM chapter was overwhelmingly positive here at UNT. I remember attending the first meeting and the small room that they reserved in the library was standing room only. Emmett saw this need for his fellow students to find a place where they belonged and he made it happen."