Campus: San Francisco State University -- March 28, 2003
SFSU Student Wins Presidential Award
Marin resident achieves nation's highest honor for high school math/science
San Francisco State University biology graduate student Mary T. Wuerth
recently received the nation’s highest honor for high school math
and science teachers, the 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in
Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The award, established by the White House in 1983 and sponsored by the
National Science Foundation, recognizes outstanding math and science
teachers who serve as role models for their colleagues and will be leaders
in the improvement of math and science education. One teacher from each
state and the four U.S. jurisdictions is selected for the award.
Wuerth is pursing a master’s degree in cell and molecular biology
at SFSU, working in the lab of Michael Goldman, professor of biology.
In addition to completing her graduate studies, the San Rafael resident
teaches full time at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley and part time
at the College of Marin in Kentfield.
“I know I would not be getting this award if I had not gone back
to school at San Francisco State,” Wuerth said. “Learning
what I have in the biology program has made me a much better teacher
… keeping me up to date in the rapidly advancing field of biology.”
Wuerth has completed 30 graduate units in the master’s program
in cell and molecular biology and, pending her thesis defense, will
graduate this spring.
“Mary is a gifted and dedicated science teacher,” Goldman
said. “She is always on the forefront, bringing her students the
latest breaking information in biotechnology and other fields.”
As a science instructor, Wuerth developed and ran a training program
for teachers in molecular biology techniques, drawing upon her SFSU
training in recombinant DNA techniques, gene expression and protein
engineering. She also worked with a team to create interdisciplinary
science programs and taught both advanced placement students and teachers
of advanced placement biology.
Each awardee receives a citation from the president of the United States,
a $7,500 cash award from the National Science Foundation to improve
math and science instruction, and a paid trip to attend recognition
events in Washington, D.C.
The events, which Wuerth attended March 18-23, included an award ceremony,
presidential citation, meeting with First Lady Laura Bush, meetings
with leaders in government and education, sessions to share ideas and
teaching experiences, and receptions and banquets to honor recipients.
“We can't have incredible advances in biotechnology and medicine
without a well-trained workforce and an informed, science-literate public,”
Goldman stated. “Mary's work in achieving this is exemplary.”
NOTE: For an electronic photo of Mary Wuerth receiving the 2002 Presidential
Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, or for Wuerth’s
or Goldman’s contact information, contact Ellen Griffin of the
SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-6990 or email@example.com.
Contact: Ellen Griffin (415) 338-6990; (415) 338-1665;