Kevin Bahati, a fourth-year chemical engineering major and undergraduate research assistant in Assistant Professor Geoff Geise’s lab, has been named an American Chemical Society Scholar. Kevin, who spent the summer working as a facilities engineering intern at Southwestern Energy in Texas, joined Prof. Geise’s lab as a first-year student because of the group’s polymer-based water purification research. Kevin was raised in Africa and lived in Congo, Zambia and Uganda before immigrating to the United States through a refugee program in 2014.

As a first year student in 2016, Kevin explained to UVA Today that he experienced first-hand the consequences of not having reliable access to clean water. At the time, he said he planned to use his education and research experience to help improve living conditions in the developing world — plans that haven’t changed, he said.

“My end goal is not just about providing clean water,” he said. “I want to contribute to the progress taking place in the developing world.”