Dr. Kermin Joel Martínez-Hernández is from a town in the southwest coastal shore of the island of enchantment, Guánica, Puerto Rico. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and he maintains closed connection with his family, friends, and honors his mix-heritage as a Puerto Rican.
Kermin’s obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in the area of chemical education from Purdue University, Indiana in October 2010. His dissertation topic was: “Development and assessment of a chemistry-based computer video game as a learning tool” which consists in the creation and development of a computer game to teach chemistry concepts. The goal was that students would learn and/or revise chemistry concepts at the same time that they were playing with the game. He assessed learning gains and students’ understanding of chemistry concepts prior and after gameplay intervention. He currently holds a position as postdoctoral research associate in nanotechnology education at the Interdisciplinary Education Group (IEG) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). He develops nanotechnology and materials science education materials, demonstrations, outreach programs, classroom activities, kits, and video games. His main project is the design and development of an iPad nanotechnology board game as well as its educational assessment. At UW-Madison, he serves as a facilitator of a SACNAS student chapter where he is helping them to get established and recognized as a student organization.
Finally, Kermin has been involved with SACNAS since 2006 working closely with the national board of directors and member of student chapter and national chapter/membership committees. One of his biggest accomplishments with SACNAS was being the leader and organizer of the first SACNAS Regional Meeting in the history of the society while he was a PhD student at Purdue University. He is very passionate in helping underrepresented minorities and love to serve as a mentor and advisor of students at all levels encouraging them with the theme, SI SE PUEDE. At the SACNAS National Conference, he leads panels and workshops every year about grad school successes, challenges, and other important topics. He is a strong believer of SACNAS mission and vision, and considers himself an ambassador of the society wherever he goes.