May 06, 2004

Biology Professor Receives Presidential Honor for Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring

The White House has awarded eight institutions and nine individuals, including UNM Biology Professor Maggie Werner-Washburne, with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). This Presidential Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to mentoring students and increasing the participation of minorities, women and disabled students in science, mathematics and engineering.

The ceremony was held May 6 at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building and was presided over by John H. Marburger, science advisor to the President and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

For 15 years, Werner-Washburne has mentored large numbers of ethnic minority students. Her hands-on approach to mentoring reaches far beyond her department to K-12 to university and government professionals and across disciplines including biology, mathematics, computer sciences, and mechanical and chemical engineering.

The annual award, administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), includes a $10,000 grant and a Presidential commemorative certificate. The PAESMEM program seeks to identify outstanding mentoring efforts and programs designed to enhance the participation of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering. The awardees will serve as models to their colleagues and will be leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the nation's human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.

In the eight years the awards have been made, 78 individuals and 62 institutions have been recognized. Recipients of this year's individual awards include a range of professionals from biology and chemical engineering to computer science and medicine. Their innovative approaches include comprehensive programs and enrichment activities for K-12 students to initiatives aimed at reaching a continuum of students from early childhood through undergraduates, using such community resources as schools and churches.

A complete listing of individual and institutional awardees can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pressrel.cfm