Campus: CSU -- October 4, 1999

Presidential Award Honors Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentors

Ten individuals and five institutions are receiving the 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The award is administered and funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF).

President Clinton honors individuals and groups that have been exemplary in their encouragement of minorities, women and persons with disabilities to pursue careers in scientific, engineering and technical fields. The president has said that they would "serve as examples to their colleagues and will be leaders in the national effort to train the next century of scientists, mathematicians and engineers."

"No personal influence is as powerful, long-lasting, and positive as that of a superlative mentor," said NSF director Rita Colwell.

"The mentors receiving this award today are a true national resource who play a key role in defining the quality of our nation's future human resources in science, mathematics, technology and engineering."

Up to 10 individuals and 10 institutions annually may qualify for the national award, which includes a $10,000 - grant and a commemorative presidential certificate.

The mentoring awards recognize a long-term commitment to providing opportunities for greater participation in science and engineering by all Americans. The awards do this by honoring those whose personal and organizational activities have increased participation of underrepresented groups in mathematics,engineering and science from kindergarten through graduate level.

This year's awardees were selected from among 36 nominated for the individual awards and another 19 from institutions.



Ajay K. Bose, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ
George Castro, San Jose State University
Meera Chandrasekhar, University of Missouri-Columbia
Harold Deutschman, New Jersey Institute of Technology-Newark
Samuel F. Hart, Sr., Mercer University, Macon, Georgia
Ram S. Lamba, University of Puerto Rico-Cayey
Raymond B. Landis, California State University-Los Angeles
Zafra M. Lerman, Columbia College, Chicago
Richard L. Radtke, University of Hawaii-Manoa
Mary L. Soffa, University of Pittsburgh


Oregon State University
Science and Mathematics Investigative Learning Experiences
Susan J. Borden

University of California-Santa Cruz
Academic Excellence (ACE) Honors Program
Nancy J. Cox-Konopelski

University of Virginia
Office of Minority Programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science
Carolyn Vallas

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Douglass Project for Women in Mathematics, Science and Engineering
Joseph J. Seneca

The University of Michigan
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program
Fawwaz T. Ulaby

Media Contact: Bill Noxon

Background: Approximately 20 recipients receive the award each year-up to 10 individuals and 10 institutions. The individual award is given to mentors who have demonstrated outstanding and sustained mentoring and effective guidance to a significant number of students at the K-12, undergraduate or graduate education levels. The institutional award is given to organizations that, through institutional programming, have enabled a substantial number of students from groups underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering to successfully pursue and complete the relevant degree programs.

History: Science in the National Interest, a 1994 national policy document on science and technology, articulated several goals as part of the Clinton Administration's effort to propel the nation into the 21st century on a strong scientific and technological foundation. Two of the major goals are the production of the finest scientists and engineers for the 21st century, and scientific literacy for all.

The Administration committed to maximizing the nation's pool of talented, well-educated, and highly trained scientists and engineers to help achieve those goals. This entails maintaining demonstrated excellence in the production of scientists and engineers by actively increasing the participation of talent that draws fully on all racial/cultural segments of the nation's population.

Rationale for the Mentoring Program: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policythrough its National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)established the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in recognition of the critical importance played by visible role models and the power of mentors to affect the development of talent among groups traditionally underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering.

The awards are implemented by NSTC's Committee on Education and Training. They recognize outstanding mentoring efforts and programs that have enhanced the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups (minorities, women and persons with disabilities). The awardees serve as role models and leaders in the national effort to develop more fully the nation's human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.

Administration: The Mentoring awards are administered by the National Science Foundation. Both the individual and the institutional awards include a $10,000 grant to go along with a Presidential commemorative certificate. The monetary award is to be directed back into the recognized mentoring activity.

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