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News Release 08-214

Beginning Scientists Receive Presidential Awards

Twenty NSF nominees receive the government's highest honor for scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers

Photo of the White House

The 2007 PECASE winners are honored in a ceremony at the White House.
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December 19, 2008

Embargoed until December 19, 2008, 3:30 p.m.

Twenty young scientists from among those taking part in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) have received an additional distinction as winners of Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for the 2007 competition.

The PECASE program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. In addition to NSF's winners, there are 48 scientists nominated by other government agencies.

By receiving awards through the CAREER program, the PECASE winners had already demonstrated their success in integrating research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.

"We take great pride in the PECASE winners," said Kathie L. Olsen, NSF's deputy director. "It is important to support the transformational research of these beginning scientists, and to foster their work in educational outreach and mentoring."

A complete list of NSF's PECASE awardees and their institutions follows:

Sonia Altizer, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

Maura J. Borrego, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech University

Xi Chen, Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia Universit

Kim M. Cobb, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Michael Elowitz, California Institute of Technology

Nicholas Feamster, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Alexander Gamburd, Department of Mathematics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Jeremy Gray, Department of Psychology, Yale University

Sanjay Lall, Department of Aeronautics and Astronomics, Stanford University

André W. Marshall, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park

Mónica Medina, School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced

Katrina M. Miranda, Department of Chemistry, University of Arizona

Subhasish Mitra, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Stanford University

Stergios I. Roumeliotis, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota

Sanjit Seshia, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley

Aaron M. Thomas, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Idaho

Paul Torrens, School of Geographical Sciences, Arizona State University

Anastasia Volovich, Department of Physics, Brown University

Joan Walker, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Michael Yu, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454,

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) 2017, 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.

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