Dr. Rita R. Colwell
National Science Foundation
NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Ceremony for 2001 Awardees
National Academy of Sciences
November 8, 2001
Thank you, Norman. [Dr. Norman Fortenberry, Director,
Division of Undergraduate Education, NSF].
Good evening and thank you for joining us as we recognize
some of the brightest, most innovative teachers in
our nation - the recipients of NSF's 2001 Director's
Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
First, I'd like to give you some background on how
this award was developed. As many of you know, NSF's
strategic plan emphasizes the Foundation's goal of
investing in people, ideas and tools, and it describes
three core strategies:
- developing intellectual capital,
- integrating research and education, and
- promoting partnerships.
It occurred to me that an award for Distinguished Teaching
Scholars would embrace these goals and strategies
in a comprehensive way.
The Director's Award is the highest honor bestowed
by NSF for excellence in teaching and research.
This particular award embodies the high priority that
NSF places on promoting the efforts of outstanding
scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who are
dedicated to advancing the frontiers of science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
The Award promotes an academic culture that endorses
not only excellence in research and education, but
also the productive integration of the two.
The Award is designed to enhance connections between
fundamental research and undergraduate education,
and it highlights the important role of citizens who
are informed about STEM.
The Distinguished Teaching Scholars program has several
goals. The first of these is to foster the development
of intellectual capital by identifying outstanding
individuals with a history of substantial impact in
both STEM research and in educating undergraduate
students, including students who are not majoring
in an STEM discipline.
A second objective is to encourage the integration
of research and education by providing resources that
these pioneering educators can use to discover new
ways of attracting undergraduates to contemporary
We want the awardees to be able to convey the excitement
and richness of scientific discovery to students in
introductory courses, including students who do not
initially plan careers in STEM fields.
Another aim of the Distinguished Teaching Scholars
program is to enable instructors to disseminate their
experiences and to mentor other faculty who are trying
to balance their contributions to science and engineering
and to STEM education.
A fourth goal is to promote an academic culture that
values and rewards members of the community who contribute
to both disciplinary scholarship and the education
of undergraduates, including students majoring in
We also want to promote the scholars' influence and
prestige so that balanced efforts in teaching and
research by other faculty will be recognized and rewarded.
It's important to mention that Dr. Carl Wieman, the
recent Nobel laureate, was named an NSF Distinguished
Teaching Scholar only a month before winning the Nobel
A final goal of the program is to recognize the efforts
of institutions of higher education that commit resources
in support of faculty who effectively contribute to
both discipline-related scholarship and science education.
NSF's Distinguished Teaching Scholars program is committed
to providing leadership for developing excellence
in STEM education at all institutions of higher learning.
The program is designed to support individuals who
exemplify the ability to contribute creatively and
significantly to both teaching and scholarly activity
and to help those people reach leadership positions
where they can effect the greatest change.
Finally, the Distinguished Teaching Scholars program
strives to provide exemplary faculty role models who
have the freedom and resources to mentor undergraduates.
In closing, let me summarize the academic community's
response to the initial solicitation. A total of 68
proposals were received, with seven awardees selected.
Applications were received from scholars who have distinguished
themselves in a gamut of disciplines supported by
NSF, including Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences,
Biology, Geosciences, Computer Science and Engineering,
and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Now, I have the distinct pleasure and honor of introducing
On October 23rd, the Senate confirmed President Bush's
nomination for Jack Marburger to be the Administration's
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
This is a position that requires at least two hats.
As the Director of OSTP, Jack will oversee the nation's
civilian and defense science and technology enterprise.
Wearing the second hat, he will be the President's
personal adviser on matters of science and technology.
Jack Marburger is truly a "Man for All Seasons." He
was nominated before the events of September 11, when
we were a different nation. The announcement of his
selection evoked praise from every sector and from
both political parties.
Jack not only has the right credentials; he has the
right experience for dealing with the unexpected and
He is a physicist who has taught both physics and electrical
engineering at USC and served as Dean of the College
of Arts and Sciences.
In 1980, he became the third president of the State
University of New York at Stony Brook, a position
he held until 1994 when he went to Brookhaven National
Laboratory. At Brookhaven, he provided exceptional
leadership in uncertain times.
His Senate confirmation two weeks ago made those who
know him, and those who know of him, feel especially
secure during our national trial.
When Jack is at the helm, we can be assured of a steady
course and a safe journey. He is a visionary with
wisdom, and is a fitting captain to guide the nation's
science and technology enterprise forward while steering
it always in service to our country.
Please welcome Jack Marburger.