Chemistry Ph.D. student, GoSTEM founder Nicolas Watkins dies

Pavan Acharya, Campus Editor

Chemistry Ph.D. student Nicolas Watkins has died, the University announced in a news release Friday.

According to Chemistry Department graduate program administrator Jonathan Maendel, Watkins was an intelligent and accomplished chemist. He was inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2020 and was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in Chemistry in 2018.

Watkins founded GoSTEM, Northwestern’s graduate chapter of national nonprofit Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. He also helped organize a speaker series as a member of the NU Building on Diversity board.

“He was dedicated to promoting an inclusive graduate community by leading the way and being a representative voice for those who historically do not have one in STEM,” The Graduate School Dean Kelly Mayo and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Dean Adrian Randolph wrote in a message to the graduate student community.

Colleagues said Watkins wanted to “support and uplift everyone” and make NU a more inclusive institution, according to the news release. 

“They shared with us that Nic made the good days even better, the bad days much brighter and it is evident that his impact on the community was immense,” Mayo and Randolph wrote. 

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