World's largest scientific society receives presidential honor

December 12, 2001

President Bush today presents the American Chemical Society with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The Society is one of ten institutions receiving this prestigious award.

The award is given to the Society in recognition of Project SEED and the ACS Scholars Program. These programs introduce students from groups underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering to careers and higher education that will allow them to successfully pursue and complete relevant degree programs.

"Increasing minority participation in the chemical sciences is a major focus of the Society," said Eli M. Pearce, president-elect of the Society. "Our goal is to increase diversity by removing barriers and expanding opportunities through programs like Project SEED and the ACS Scholars Program."

Since 1968, Project SEED's Summer Research program has provided an opportunity for more than 6,000 high school students to work in a laboratory doing hands-on chemistry research guided by a scientist-mentor. College scholarships are available for SEED students planning to attend college.

The Society launched the ACS Scholars Program in 1995. This program targets African American, Hispanic and Native American students interested in two- and four-year college and university degree programs in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry and environmental sciences. Over 1,100 students have won scholarships. These students have represented 390 colleges and universities in 48 states and territories.

Both programs provide mentors and financial assistance to academically accomplished, yet economically disadvantaged students.
For more information regarding the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, see the attached Fact Sheet.

Project SEED and the ACS Scholars Program are currently accepting student applications. Additional information can be found at their respective websites: and


2001 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

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 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 and disability 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.

American Chemical Society

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