Nav: Home

President Obama announces exceptional science, mathematics and engineering mentors

March 31, 2015

Today, President Obama named 14 individuals and one organization as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

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.

Mentors play a vital role for many science and engineering students and early career scientists, on both a personal and professional level. This is especially true for students from underrepresented groups--including minorities, women and people with disabilities. Without mentors, these students might lack the support and example they need to pursue successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The mentors announced today represent awardees from 2012 and 2013.

They have influenced thousands of students from K-12 to Ph. D. candidates. Mentees have gone on to careers as doctors, engineers, teachers and researchers.

The National Science Foundation administers PAESMEM on behalf of the White House. Since the awards were first made nearly two decades ago, more than 240 individuals and organizations have received the citation. It is America's highest mentoring award.

Colleagues, administrators and students in their home institutions nominate candidates for PAESMEM annually. Candidates can also nominate themselves. Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and is honored at a White House ceremony.

The individuals and organizations receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring are:

Individual awards

Luis Colón, 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

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.

A fact sheet with more details on the PAESMEM program is available on the NSF website.

National Science Foundation

Related Mathematics Articles:

A new method for boosting the learning of mathematics
How can mathematics learning in primary school be facilitated? UNIGE has developed an intervention to promote the learning of math in school.
Could mathematics help to better treat cancer?
Impaired information processing may prevent cells from perceiving their environment correctly; they then start acting in an uncontrolled way and this can lead to the development of cancer.
People can see beauty in complex mathematics, study shows
Ordinary people see beauty in complex mathematical arguments in the same way they can appreciate a beautiful landscape painting or a piano sonata.
Improving geothermal HVAC systems with mathematics
Sustainable heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, such as those that harness low-enthalpy geothermal energy, are needed to reduce collective energy use and mitigate the continued effects of a warming climate.
How the power of mathematics can help assess lung function
Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new computational way of analyzing X-ray images of lungs, which could herald a breakthrough in the diagnosis and assessment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.
Mathematics pushes innovation in 4-D printing
New mathematical results will provide a potential breakthrough in the design and the fabrication of the next generation of morphable materials.
More democracy through mathematics
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes.
How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing.
US educators awarded for exemplary teaching in mathematics
Janet Heine Barnett, Caren Diefenderfer, and Tevian Dray were named the 2017 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award winners by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) for their teaching effectiveness and influence beyond their institutions.
Authors of year's best books in mathematics honored
Prizes for the year's best books in mathematics were awarded to Ian Stewart and Tim Chartier by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) on Jan.
More Mathematics News and Mathematics Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at