Daniel Gonzalez: A First-Generation Scholar Paving the Way in Environmental Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate Daniel Gonzalez
Ph.D. Candidate Daniel Gonzalez


Graduate student Daniel Gonzalez has received the Switzer Fellowship, a year-long program for graduate students from diverse academic and personal backgrounds with a dedication to environmental improvement.


Throughout his fellowship year, Daniel is focusing on cohort-building, networking, and equity-centered leadership and skills development. The fellowship provides Daniel, and his cohort, with professional and personal support and connection to fellows throughout his career.


Daniel, originally from Santa Ana, CA earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry with minors in mathematics and physics from Washington College in 2020. During his undergraduate years, he developed a passion for environmental issues, leading him into the field of air quality research. As a Ph.D. candidate in the Atmospheric Processes Laboratory at CE-CERT, Daniel is conducting research on aerosol behavior and its impact on air quality.


Daniel is a first-generation student and is motivated by a desire to excel in his field and make a positive impact on the environment, especially for disadvantaged communities.


"I want to leverage my education to make a difference in underserved communities. Growing up in such communities, environmental issues and air pollution were the last things on my mind. Now with my education and experience, I have the ability to make an impact in communities like my own." - Daniel Gonzalez


Daniel is also participating in the Science to Policy (S2P) program's winter cohort. This 10-week course introduces STEM Ph.D. students to public policy and enhances their communication skills and ability to translate scientific knowledge into effective policy.


“To make a meaningful impact in underserved communities, mastering the art of implementing science into policy is critical. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity as it will further empower me to make a difference." - Daniel Gonzalez


Daniel Gonzalez, as a first-generation scholar, is paving the way in environmental leadership, inspiring others on a similar path. CE-CERT is proud to highlight our students who are going beyond the classroom to make a tangible difference in the world. We wish Daniel success on his journey and look forward to hearing about his future accomplishments.

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