Karen Lozano believes in and lives by the value of hard work, personal responsibility, and innovation, and accordingly has placed these values at the core of her mentoring philosophy. She mentors by experience. She notes that adults must be careful when presenting to young audiences, who hear over and over “pursue your passion” at a young age. Many do not know what their passion is and it could be misinterpreted as “pursue something that could come easy to you.” She believes we need to change the message to “pursue opportunities” and “put your heart and soul in it.”
Dr. Lozano has developed a strong Ph.D. pathway, and continues working with students while they are at Tier I institutions. Her students are enrolled in Ph.D. programs at Tier 1 institutions, such as University of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Rice University. She has tailored high-tech research projects to maximize undergraduate student participation. Quantitatively, these activities have resulted in 100 percent retention and graduation of the students who have joined her lab. More than 200 students have directly benefitted from these research opportunities. She has been the thesis director of more than 30 M.S. students (20 percent Hispanic women), most of whom were previously undergraduate research assistants under her supervision.
Besides the students mentored and supervised in research activities, Dr. Lozano has advised more than 800 students individually. The advisement sessions are designed to assist students with their academic curriculum though she always takes the time to talk to them about their goals and encourage them to excel in their classes. She also believes that to increase the number of students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, it is too late to focus on students at the college level alone. As such, she also works with K-12 students through a variety of venues, including her “Magic and Science” shows, which reach thousands of students in small groups. Through mentoring and outreach, Dr. Lozano has worked with more than 10,000 students, more than 80 percent of whom were Hispanic, in different venues.
Dr. Lozano’s honors include:
- Provost’s Award for Latin American Studies, 2006
- University of Texas System Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2006
- University Excellence Research Award, 2009
- Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, 2013