When Milton Repollet-Pedrosa, from Gurabo, Puerto Rico, began his doctorate in 2008, his Ph.D. in materials chemistry, was a relatively new track within the department. Since then, he has put in countless hours outside of the lab to help create the materials program.
Repollet-Pedrosa’s contributions to the department include helping to create a website for materials chemistry, working to cement deadlines for materials students’ graduate requirements, and organizing a materials seminar series. He has even served as the unofficial captain of the materials softball team during the department’s annual tournament.
“Milton’s always been one of those characters that can rally the troops and get people excited,” said Professor Mahesh Mahanthappa, Repollet-Pedrosa’s graduate adviser.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions outside the lab, Repollet-Pedrosa received the Farrington Daniels Award for Ethical Leadership in 2011. The award, considered one of the department’s top honors, is given to graduate student who demonstrate leadership within the department while also maintaining a high level of research productivity. The award was established in 2004 through an endowed gift from William (Ph.D. ’46) and Virginia Hendrickson.
In the lab, Repollet-Pedrosa has helped bring a technically challenging, specialized microscope technique called cryogenic-electron microscopy to campus. Along with refining his own skills, he has also taught the technique to fellow graduate students and several staff members.
“It’s been one of the biggest satisfactions to me, being able to work from the ground up [at UW-Madison] with this technique,” said Repollet-Pedrosa.
As he prepared to transition from Madison to a job at Dow Chemical Company in the fall, Repollet-Pedrosa reflected on his experience.
“The complement of being extremely happy outside [of the Chemistry Building] and learning a lot from both my peers and the faculty, I feel like I’ve grown as a human being a lot,” Repollet-Pedrosa said. “[Coming to Wisconsin] is the best decision I could have made.”