Dante Lauretta, Ph. D.
Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry, University of Arizona
Dante found a fun, safe haven at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, where Club staff helped shape his developing leadership skills. After graduating from high school, Dante obtained a dual bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at the University of Arizona, then a doctorate in earth and planetary sciences from Washington University. In 2011, Dr. Lauretta’s desire to give back came full-circle when NASA appointed him Principal Investigator of the seven-year mission, OSIRIS-REx. It inspired him to create “Xtronaut,” a STEM curriculum that reinforces concepts including math, science, vocabulary and cooperative-learning. He piloted Xtronaut at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, and later brought it to the Metro Phoenix Clubs. Dr. Lauretta is Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry for the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.