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Jennifer Roizen

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Assistant Professor in Chemistry


Jennifer Roizen


Jennifer Roizen has been an assistant professor of chemistry since 2013. She has trained 22 students, including undergraduates and graduate students. Her mentees credit her with a constantly evolving mentorship style designed to fit the needs of the students and changing technologies. She pushes her mentees to take ownership of ideas and pursue them, encouraging creativity and problem solving. Her nominations noted that she has been instrumental in facilitating her mentees development of “soft skills,” making them more successful professionals and academics. 

Roizen earned her Ph.D. in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and her bachelor’s in chemistry at Williams College. She completed her postdoctoral research training at Stanford University as a fellow at the Center for Molecular Analysis and Design. She has additional professional appointments at the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics, Duke Pharmacological Sciences Training Program, and Duke Bioscience Collaborative for Research Engagement.

On Mentoring

“There’s a sense in which a community of chemists can be a family. Your lab could be a family. To make a family of very different people requires us to actively build trust, build loyalty and connections, and make sure you work with each other to develop as scientists. It’s important for everyone involved to realize that you can teach me, and I can teach you, and you can teach your peers, and you have something to gain from them, too.”


In Their Words

Excerpts from Roizen’s Nomination

“Professor Roizen does not place boundaries on what can be accomplished. In my experience, Professor Roizen’s ability to entertain possibility has been instrumental to my scientific and personal achievements as a graduate student at Duke.”

“Professor Roizen has made the laboratory a comfortable place, accommodating to both diverse scientific ideas as well as forms of communication and expression.”

“Jenny has taught me the value of science being done well, how to be rigorous when performing experiments, and how to persist in the face of adversity (whether scientific or professional)."