President Clinton honors science, mathematics and engineering mentors

September 06, 2000

Ten individuals and ten institutions today received the 2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The award is administered and funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF). With the award, President Clinton today honored individuals and groups that have been leaders in encouraging minorities, women and persons with disabilities to pursue careers in scientific, engineering and technical fields.

"We must draw upon our nation's full talent pool to maintain U.S. leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge," the President said. "We honor these individuals and institutions who have contributed so much through their mentoring efforts to achieve greater diversity throughout the ranks of our scientific and engineering workforce."

"Mentors have propelled and guided my own life and career," said NSF deputy director Joseph Bordogna. "In this technological era of fast-paced change, it is easier than ever to be left behind. Mentorship provides opportunities for diverse individuals and groups to prosper in ways that move the nation ahead."

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.
Attachment: Recipients of the 2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring


Daniel L. Akins, City College of New York, New York, NY
James F. P. Cotter, University of Minnesota, Morris, MN
Vallie W. Guthrie, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC
Glenn D. Kuehn, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Juan Lopez-Garriga, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Mayaguez, PR
Abdulalim Abdullah Shabazz, Lincoln University, Lincoln University, PA
Carlos G. Spaht, II, Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Shreveport, LA
Michael F. Summers, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
Luis P. Villarreal, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
Maria Elena Zavala, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA

American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C., Board of Education and Training - Clifford W. Houston
Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Big Ten), Champaign, Ill., Summer Research Opportunities Program, - Jean E. Girves
Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif., Indian Natural Resources, Sciences and Engineering Program - Russell V. Boham
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, College of Engineering Programs for Minorities and Women - Sarah A. Rajala
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Office of Minority and Special Programs - Louis Dale
California Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Michael Aldaco
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) - Cinda-Sue G. Davis
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Minority Engineering, Mathematics and Science (MEMS) - Maurice Thompson
Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Patricia M. MacGowan
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Compact for Faculty Diversity - Ken Pepion


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

Media Contact: Charles S. Drum (703) 292 8070/

Background: Up to 10 individuals and 10 institutions may be selected to receive the annual Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Individual mentors demonstrate outstanding and sustained mentoring and effective guidance to a significant number of students at the K-12, undergraduate or graduate education levels. Institutional presidential mentors are organizations that, through their programs, have enabled a substantial number of students from groups underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering to successfully pursue and complete 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 major goals of the document are: to produce of the finest scientists and engineers for the 21st century; and, attain scientific literacy for all.

The Administration's commitment is to maximize the nation's pool of talented, well-educated and highly trained scientists and engineers to help achieve the major goals of Science in the National Interest. This commitment includes a demonstrated effort to produce scientists and engineers in greater quantity and quality 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 President through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)established PAESMEM to recognize 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 PAESMEM program is administered by the National Science Foundation. Both the individual and the institutional mentoring 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.

NSF PR 00-59

Program contact:
Victor Santiago
(703) 292-8633/

National Science Foundation

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