J. Eliseo De León, Ph.D.

Dr. J. Eliseo De León spent his early childhood in various parts of the Mexican republic. From birth to age 7, he lived in Cd. Juárez, Chih., Cd. Chihuahua, Chih., León, Gto., Mexico, D.F., and again in Cd. Juárez before the family emigrated to San José, CA. Dr. De León spent his adolescence in California, and attended the University of California for his undergraduate degree. Shortly thereafter, the arrival of his two sons provided the impetus to become active in the community as a father, coach, mentor and teacher.

Dr. De León holds a joint appointment in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department and the Office of the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Iowa State University. Dr. De León is an adjunct assistant professor in ISU’s Food Science and Human Nutrition department, with technical expertise is in polymers and instrumental analysis. He is a lifetime member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Since 2009, Dr. De León has been delivering STEM programming to Iowa underserved and underrepresented students and their families to raise awareness of the possibilities available in STEM higher education fields.

Dr. De León’s mentoring and program development, to increase retention of underrepresented students in STEM, is his way of paying back those anonymous individuals who paved the way for his success. He has served as faculty advisor to the ISU SHPE student chapter since 2013, serving the students and helping them meet their cultural, social and professional needs. Dr. De León’s commitment to service is carried out with the aid of caring students who graciously perform community outreach and education in STEM fields throughout Iowa. Accompanied by committed students, he travels throughout Iowa communities to advise prospective underrepresented students and their families on how to prepare for, pursue, and succeed in post-secondary education.

Dr. De León is passionate about social justice and about creating opportunities for success of Latino students, in addition to his scientific training. Dr. De León earned a BA in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Iowa State University.