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News Release 11-014

President and NSF Spotlight Mentors Who Inspire America's Next Generation of Scientists

Four organizations and 11 individuals to be honored at the White House and featured at NSF this week

Photo of 2011 PAESMEM awardees, NSF Director Subra Suresh, Deputy Director Cora Marett, John Holdren

2011 PAESMEM awardees, NSF Director Subra Suresh, Deputy Director Cora Marrett, OSTP's John Holdren.

January 24, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

President Barack Obama on Friday named 11 individuals and four organizations as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). The mentors will receive their awards at a White House ceremony this week. They will also be available at the National Science Foundation on Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. for media interviews.

Supported and administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and awarded by the White House, PAESMEM awards recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering (S&E)--particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in S&E fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow's innovators reflect the full diversity of the United States.

Candidates for the Presidential Mentoring Awards are nominated by colleagues, administrators and students in their home institutions. 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 $10,000 to advance their mentoring efforts.

"These individuals and organizations have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the United States remains on the cutting edge of science and engineering for years to come," President Obama said. "Their devotion to the educational enrichment and personal growth of their students is remarkable, and these awards represent just a small token of our enormous gratitude."

"Mentorship is an important calling," said NSF Director Subra Suresh, "Mentors not only guide and counsel, they inspire and nurture the next generation of science, math and engineering professionals, enabling fresh, new contributions, essential to America's future."

Since 1996, these awards have been made annually to recognize the critical importance of mentors in the academic and personal development of students and colleagues who are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Each year's awardees add to a widening network of outstanding mentors in the United States, so that tomorrow's scientists and engineers may better reflect the nation's diverse population and so that America may reap the benefits from its best and brightest.

The individuals and organizations receiving the PAESMEM awards this year are:

Richard L. Cardenas, St. Mary's University, TX
Anthony Carpi, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, N.Y.
Isaac J. Crumbly, Fort Valley State University, Ga.
Jo Handelsman, Yale University, Conn.
Douglass L. Henderson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wis.
Bruce A. Jackson, Massachusetts Bay Community College, Mass.
Marigold L. Linton, University of Kansas, Kan.
Maja J. Mataric, University of Southern California, Calif.
Gerard F. R. Parkin, Columbia University, N.Y.
Julio J. Ramirez, Davidson College, N.C.
Michelle A. Williams, University of Washington, Wash.
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, Stevens Institute of Technology, N.J.
Baccalaureate and Beyond Community College Mentoring Program, State University of New York, Purchase College, N.Y.
Grinnell Science Project, Grinnell College, IA
Women in Science and Engineering Mentoring Initiatives, Center for Research on Women and Gender, University of Illinois-Chicago, Ill.

More information on the individuals and organizations who received presidential mentoring awards this year can be found in the attached document (PDF, 244KB).

All awardees will be available on Wed., Jan. 26, in Stafford I of the National Science Foundation, Room 1235 (the National Science Board Room) from 1 to 4 p.m. for interaction with the media.  Journalists interested in securing interviews may contact Lisa-Joy Zgorski,, to schedule appointments and obtain guest passes.


Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:

Program Contacts
Mayra N. Montrose, NSF, (703) 292-4757, email:

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) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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