For the second consecutive year, a San Josť State University professor has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. George Castro, associate dean of the College of Science and a resident of San Josť, is one of 10 individuals who received the national award from universities across the country. Castro was recognized for his outstanding achievements in mentoring and for guiding a significant number of minority students.
Established in 1996 by President Clinton, the award is administered and funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF). Each year President Clinton honors individuals and institutions that have been exemplary in their encouragement of minorities, women and persons with disabilities to pursue careers in scientific, engineering and technical fields.
According to President Clinton, these individuals "serve as examples to their colleagues and will be leaders in the national effort to train the next century of scientists, mathematicians and engineers."
After a 27-year career with IBM Research, Castro came to San Josť State in 1995 as part of a partnership with IBM, the California Department of Education and the CSU system. His charter was to mobilize resources in the Santa Clara Valley to reform math and science education so that all students would have the opportunity to succeed in learning, especially those from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences.
While at SJSU, Castro has developed a major partnership between the university and the East Side Union High School District. Funded by NSF, the project should significantly increase the number of students who complete the math and science college prep courses. Castro has also developed partnerships with elementary, middle and high schools adjoining the campus to improve the learning of math and science under SJSU's Community Outreach Partnership and 21st Century Community Learning Center programs. Recently, he has taken over the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement K-12 Schools Program.
In 1996, Castro was one of the five Laureates selected by Junior Achievement of Santa Clara County to be inducted into the Santa Clara County Business Hall of Fame. In 1997, he received the "Giant in Science" Award from the Quality Education for Minorities in Washington, D.C.
This year's 10 awardees will be honored at a White House ceremony. They were selected from among 36 nominated for the individual awards. The mentoring award includes a $10,000 grant and a commemorative Presidential certificate.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News