Chemistry professor Nils Walter is one of seven faculty members who have shown dedication to developing cultural and ethnic diversity at the University of Michigan who have received the 2015 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award from the Office of the Provost.
Walter, also a professor of biophysics, has made important contributions to the Department of Chemistry’s demographic diversity and diversity climate. Walter so far has graduated five Ph.D. students from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups, a large fraction for a faculty member in chemistry. The students and postdoctoral fellows from Walter’s research groups have gone on to establish successful careers at major academic institutions and in industry.
In the fall of 2013, he implemented a continuing, successful preview weekend for diverse candidates — especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds — to introduce them to the chemistry graduate program.
“Professor Walter is a wonderful and deeply committed recruiter and mentor of graduate students in the sciences from disadvantaged and non-traditional backgrounds, inspiring graduate students from a diversity of programs,” said Carol A. Fierke, chair of the Department of Chemistry.
Walter is a key member of the Chemistry Diversity Committee, and is active in NextProfScience, a workshop being developed by LSA as a way to increase the diversity of UM faculty applicant pools.