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Press Release 11-246
President Obama Honors Outstanding Science, Math and Engineering Mentors

Nine individuals and eight organizations were recognized

Image of President Obama greeting the 2010 and 2011 PAESMEM awardees on Dec. 12, 2011.

President Barack Obama greets the 2010 and 2011 awardees for the Presidential Awards for Excellence.
Credit and Larger Version

December 14, 2011

President Obama has honored nine individuals and eight organizations as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The mentors received their awards at a White House ceremony on Monday, December 12.

Administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations in recognition of the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering--particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow's innovators reflect and benefit from the diverse talent of the United States.

Colleagues, administrators and students in their home institutions nominate candidates for the award. The mentoring can involve students at any grade level from elementary through graduate school. In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients receive awards of $25,000 from NSF to advance their mentoring efforts.

The mentors and organizations announced yesterday represent the winners for 2010 and 2011.

"Through their commitment to education and innovation, these individuals and organizations are playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st century workforce," President Obama said when he first announced the awardees. "Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for helping ensure that America remains the global leader in science and engineering for years to come."

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


  • Solomon Bililign, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, N.C.
  • Peggy Cebe, Tufts University, Mass.
  • Roy Clarke, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Amelito Enriquez, Cañada College, Calif.
  • Karen Panetta, Tufts University, Mass.
  • ACE Mentor Program of America, Conn., represented by Charles Thornton
  • Ocean Discovery Institute, Calif.
  • Women's Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Ill., represented by Teresa Woodruff


  • Winston Anderson, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Juan E. Gilbert, Clemson University, S.C.
  • Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University, Ala.
  • Andrew Tsin, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas
  • Camp Reach, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mass. represented by Chrysanthe Demetry
  • Diversity Programs in Engineering, Cornell University, N.Y. , represented by Sara Hernández
  • The Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, Arizona State University, Ariz., represented by Carlos Castillo-Chavez
  • The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, Stanford University, Calif., represented by Marilyn Winkleby
  • University of California San Francisco Science & Health Education Partnership High School Intern Program, Calif., represented by Rebecca Smith


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, mzachari@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Image of President Obama with the 2010 and 2011 PAESMEM awardees on Dec. 12, 2011.
This award recognizes the role that mentoring plays for students studying science and engineering.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo  of the mentors who received their awards at a White House ceremony on Monday, Dec. 12.
The mentors received their awards at a White House ceremony on Monday, December 12.
Credit and Larger Version

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