Recognizing the rising talent of accomplished researchers and leaders in academia, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine has named Gerardo Dominguez, assistant professor of physics, one of 12 “Emerging Scholars” in its January 2013 edition. The national magazine focuses on matters of access, equality and opportunity in higher education and annually honors educators who are under the age of 40 with proven abilities to lead and inspire.

Each scholar is selected based on research, educational background, publishing and teaching record, and competitiveness and uniqueness of their respective field of study. While their credentials and accomplishments distinguish them, it is their level of social consciousness that makes them truly exemplary.

“Dr. Gerardo Dominguez brings depth of research expertise to the department of physics and the College, and he has the unique potential to make substantial contributions to his field of research,” said College of Science and Mathematics Dean Katherine Kantardjieff. “As a Latino scientist and the first in his family to graduate from college, he is a fine role model for our aspiring STEM students here at CSUSM. Gerardo is a thoughtful instructor who seeks meaningful ways to improve student learning, and he is making a difference in the preparation of our students for careers in science.”

Dominguez, who began teaching at CSUSM in the fall of 2011, has a robust research record and is no stranger to pushing the limits of science. Currently he is conducting astrophysical research on the isotopic composition of molecular clouds. His work may be the missing link to the century-long quest to understand how our sun and its planets formed from a portion of a molecular cloud that collapsed under gravity’s influence.

Read more about Dominguez’s research in Research Seeks to Solve Solar Mystery.

In addition to his work on isotopic compositions, he is the principal investigator of a NASA-funded, multi-million dollar project at the University of California, San Diego. He and his team of world-renowned researchers are developing a new infrared nanoscope to study meteorite samples and explore the plasmonic properties of graphene, which may someday replace silicon in electronics. Currently, their instrument is one of only a few in North America.

“I enjoy discovering new aspects of science and pushing the limits of knowledge,” said Dominguez. “To me that’s what research is; exploring the unknown. It’s challenging and uncharted, and it motivates me to design experiments and create new techniques that advance scientific understanding.”

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Every year, the Emerging Scholars edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education features an exceptional group of rising researchers, thinkers and leaders in various fields. Their credentials and accomplishments distinguish them, but it’s the level of social consciousness among the members of this year’s class that makes them truly excellent. Read the full article featured in January’s Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.