Friday, March 27, 2015

Congrats to Recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from Obama

I heard today the wonderful news that one of my UMass Amherst colleagues, Professor Sandra Petersen, is one of the fourteen recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), which was announced by President Obama at the White House.

A few years back I had served on  the committee making the selections.

According to the press release issued by the National Science Foundation:
PAESMEM recognizes outstanding efforts of mentors in encouraging the next generation of innovators and developing a science and engineering workforce that reflects the diverse talent of America. The mentors will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

The recipients of the individual awards and the organization award are truly extraordinary and are listed in the release on NSF's website:

Individual awards
  • Luis Col√≥n, State University of New York- Buffalo. Established program to increase minority students, especially Hispanics, in the chemical sciences field
  • Anne E. Donnelly, University of Florida. Successfully guided dozens of undergraduate and graduate STEM students, many through creation of a mentoring program so fruitful it spread to other universities
  • Lorraine Fleming, Howard University. Director of the school's Science, Engineering and Mathematics mentoring program that prepares students academically, socially and professionally for a career in STEM
  • Shelia M. Humphreys, University of California, Berkeley. Improved recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented groups in Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Murty S. Kambhampati, Southern University at New Orleans. Engaged high school and undergraduate students in research, successfully boosting graduation rates
  • Raymond L. Johnson, University of Maryland. Guided many minority students, at his home institution and across the nation, to complete degrees in mathematics, which has notoriously low retention rates
  • Gary S. May, Georgia Institute of Technology. Created new mentoring models, including collaborations with other institutions and researchers, which have increased the participation of minorities in science and engineering
  • John Tilak Ratnanather, Johns Hopkins University. Created a system to support deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in STEM
  • John Matsui, University of California, Berkeley. Co-founded a renowned undergraduate diversity program in the school's Biology department, a model replicated at schools throughout the U.S.
  • Beth Olivares, University of Rochester. Mentored hundreds of students through the STEM pipeline and advocated for STEM opportunities for low-income students both regionally and nationally
  • Elizabeth A. Parry, North Carolina State University. Worked to increase the accessibility of engineering to students--from kindergarten through university--and their parents
  • Sandra Petersen, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Director of a consortium of research colleges and minority-serving institutions which has tripled enrollments of underrepresented groups in STEM fields
  • John B. Slaughter, University of Southern California. Developed numerous mentoring programs, at both the national and university level, to boost minority participation in STEM; also served as the first African American director of NSF (1980-82)
  • Julio Soto, San Jose State University. Mentored hundreds of students, both personally and through nationally funded programs he developed
Organizational award
  • The GeoFORCE Program, University of Texas at Austin. An outreach program encouraging minority rural and inner-city youth to study geosciences and engineering.
Congratulations to the PAESMEM recipients for your outstanding work in mentorship in STEM!

Back in 2007,  I served on a panel with Dr. Petersen at the Isenberg School, which was organized by Dr. Barbara Pearson and it was on Women in Science Climate. The provided panelist presentations that are available still are below:

   I still have the message from Dr. Pearson, which said: "Our panelists were all great and we had lively and constructive comments and questions from the audience. We were happy to host Mass-AWIS and some K-12 teachers, community college faculty, and 5-College colleagues. Thank you to TWIST, Research Liaison & Development, the Center for Virtual Supernetworks and the student chapter of INFORMS, as well as the NEAGEP Interns for their sponsorship and help. It is encouraging that several groups are working toward raising awareness of issues of “inequalities” and taking steps to resolve them."