In September of 2017, a category 5 hurricane made landfall in the island of Puerto Rico. The devastation caused by the natural disaster resulted in a national emergency situation where almost 100% of the island lost its electrical power and sanitized water access. As part of the recovery process of the island, Ricardo, along with a group of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members at the Georgia Institute of Technology, organized recollection stations on and off campus to collect articles that were later shipped to the island. A GoFundMe account was also created to collect economic donations to aid in the recovery efforts.
In recognition of this work, Ricardo was selected for this year’s Petit Institute Interdisciplinary Research and Educational “Above and Beyond” Award. “The Petit Institute Above and Beyond Awards are given to team-based individuals that demonstrate exemplary service to the institute and contribute to its warm, collaborative environment. Awards are given each year to a senior faculty member, a pre-tenure faculty member, two trainees (graduate or postdoctoral fellow) and a staff member.”