Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to a Power of Diversity lecture with Ángel L. Reyes- Rodríguez Wednesday, Sept. 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A.
Reyes-Rodríguez’s talk, titled “Nurture Equity to Diversify Academia,” will address how investment in equity initiatives to support Black, Latinx and Native American students early in their higher education journey can result in more diverse graduate students, postdocs and faculty.
Reyes-Rodríguez was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Before moving to the mainland to train at Case Western Reserve, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. Once at CWRU, he first participated in the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) and then became a graduate student. His doctoral work focused on studying how human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, spreads through routine immune-cell interactions. He graduated in 2015 with a doctoral degree in molecular virology. Following graduation, Reyes-Rodriguez had a postdoctoral fellowship at Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, in the Department of Neurosciences. His projects related to immune responses to coronavirus infection of the Central Nervous System.
Reyes-Rodriguez now devotes his time to bringing equity to higher education. He is the director of the McNair Scholars Program at Cleveland State University. The McNair Scholars Program works with underserved yet smart, talented and hardworking students, making them competitive graduate school applicants and successful graduate students. Reyes-Rodriguez’s role is to provide these students with a mentorship program, research internships, career development programming and other services. Program alums enroll in master’s and PhD programs.Reyes-Rodriguez has been working on supporting equity efforts in graduate education from different roles for almost 15 years. He worked to provide minoritized graduate students at CWRU with career development and networking opportunities while president of the Minority Graduate Student Organization. He also worked on advocacy, communication and networking projects for the Lerner Postdoctoral Association at Cleveland Clinic. At Cleveland State, he works on equity initiatives designed to remove systemic barriers faced by minoritized students in higher education. As a result, he was one of Crain’s Cleveland Business’s “Forty under 40” honorees in November 2021. His passion for bringing equity to higher education has led him to give talks and lead workshops locally and nationally.