Luis A. Avila
Luis Avila is a Constructivist Chemical Educator. He received his Master’s degree in Chemical Physics from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania under the supervision of Ionel Haiduc. His research investigated the synthesis and vibrational characterization of Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Rh and Ir carbonyl derivatives with aminodiphosphine ligands. Upon graduating, he moved back to his native country of Venezuela where he trained Materials Science Technologists in ceramics and glass chemistry at the Technological University Institute in Caracas. While in Venezuela, he joined the Venezuelan Technological Institute for Petroleum Research (INTEVEP), Lubricants Division, where he focused on developing thermal/oxidative screening tests for novel gasoline and diesel engine lubricant formulations. Since 1989, he has been at Columbia University, earning his Ph.D. in Science Education from Teachers College under the direction of Roger Anderson. Luis served the Department of Chemistry from 1996 to 2007 as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. He has been an unofficially curator of the Chandler Chemical Museum since 1996. He redesigned and directed the Summer Teaching Assistant Training (STAT) Program to train and educate first-year graduate students to teach undergraduates from 1996 to 2014. He designed, and he directs two High School Summer Programs: Intensive Seminars in Modern Chemistry since 1995, and Introduction to Materials Science since 2004. He has distinguished himself as a constructivist science educator committed to developing the next generation of chemists through innovative educational programs.