Getting to know Jose

Did you know that it’s Harmony Week, a time where Australians celebrate the contributions of our multicultural communities? And with the wide diversity of cultures represented by our students and staff we have much to celebrate within the School of Molecular Sciences.

Meet one of our international graduate researchers, Jose Jairo Villarreal Diaz.

Hailing from Colombia, Jose has been at La Trobe University for almost six years, beginning with the ELICOS (English for further studies) program at La Trobe College. With his language skills finessed, Jose began his Master of Nanotechnology in 2017. And later became a staff member in the role of Admissions Officer for La Trobe International. Last year Jose began his PhD Candidature in the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

With a keen appetite for curiosity, Jose undertook his first series of experiments at the age of eight.

And while most children of this age begin experimenting with slime or crystal snowflakes, Jose decided his speciality would be fire. Much to the horror of his mother who had to endure “pracs” aimed at discovering the speed of which different materials burnt – from toilet paper to cardboard… and on one occasion her linen trousers!

Jose's drive to work out the science behind how things work only grew as he progressed through high school and into a Bachelor of Chemistry (Honours) at the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) in Colombia.

“During my Bachelor’s degree I fell in love with the lab. Putting on a lab coat and protective glasses is like stepping into another world, where my only focus is to discover. But it wasn’t until my Honours year that I decided upon Nanotechnology, which is where I am concentrating my PhD.”

When asked what advice he'd give to an international student considering studying at La Trobe, Jose is emphatic, “GO FOR IT! What I’ve learnt is more than just cognitive knowledge. Having so many clubs and societies to join, events to attend, services to ask for, free goodies and food every now and then, it has made me feel that the Uni is my second home.”

And that feeling of home is what makes working and studying at La Trobe University so special. A place where people from a multitude of cultures and countries can come together in celebration of their differences while sharing the common values of the pursuit of excellence, innovation, inclusivity and community.

Interested in more information on studying within La Trobe University's School of Molecular Sciences.