Past Awardee Highlights

Sara Young

Sara Young

Montana State University | Bozeman, Montana | 2002

As an enrolled member of the Crow tribe, Sara Young directs the American Indian Research Opportunities program at Montana State University (MSU) and guides the MSU research mentoring programs of the Montana Apprenticeship Program, the Initiative for Minority Student Development Program, and Leadership Alliance. Sara focuses on creating a campus environment that supports Native American students as they earn their degrees. Sara is a role model in her community and her mentoring helps Native American students serve their home communities in a professional capacity.

Glenn S. Lee

Glenn S. Lee

Waialua High and Intermediate School | Waipahu, Hawaii | 2015

Throughout his career, Glenn Lee has made creating opportunities his priority. In 1999, Mr. Lee created the "Robotics STEM Learning Center" at Waialua High & Intermediate School through which more than 230 students have participated in STEM-related competitions and higher education outreach events. Mr. Lee also co-founded the first robotics team in Hawaii, Team 359, which has won numerous competition awards, including the top prize at the 2011 FIRST Robotics World Championship. Mr. Lee has been recognized by the State of Hawaii as Teacher of the Year in 2009, and in 2011 he received the coveted National Milken Educator Award.

Ocean Discovery Institute

Ocean Discovery Institute

Ocean Discovery Institute; Young Lives Transformed Through Science Mentoring | San Diego, California | 2010

The Ocean Discovery Institute uses ocean science to empower young people from underserved urban communities to become science and conservation leaders. All Ocean Discovery Institute programs are provided at no cost to students and provide them with a personalized mentorship experience that allows them to feel confident and empowered in their abilities. Many of these students have gone on to enter the fields of biotech, engineering, environmental consulting, fisheries, marine biology, education, and public policy, and are committed to making a difference.

Ashanti Johnson

Ashanti Johnson

Institute for Broadening Participation | Damariscotta, Maine | 2008

Ashanti Johnson is currently the CEO/Superintendent of Cirrus Academy, a statewide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) charter school system in Georgia. She was one of the first female African American chemical oceanographers and the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in oceanography from Texas A&M University. In March 2017, she served as the U.S. Department of State's representative to Cambodia for several STEM-focused events including being a keynote speaker at the Cambodia Science and Engineering Festival and the United States Embassy, as well as at several schools, universities, and a science museum in Cambodia.

Camp Reach (WPI)

Camp Reach (WPI)

Camp Reach | Worcester, Massachusetts | 2011

Founded in 1997 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Camp Reach is a residential summer STEM enrichment program for rising seventh-grade girls, with continuing mentoring, communications, and events for participants as they advance from seventh grade through their high school years. Approximately 400 rising seventh-grade girls, 110 high school students, 40 middle school mathematics and science teachers, and 75 WPI students and faculty have participated over the past 14 years, creating a mentoring scaffold of girls and women who support and celebrate their interests in STEM. In 2003, Camp Reach received a national award from the Women in Engineering ProActive Network for its role in encouraging young women in engineering and science.

Joaquin Bustoz (Deceased, In Memoriam)

Joaquin Bustoz (Deceased, In Memoriam)

Arizona State University | Tempe, Arizona | 1996

Dr. Joaquin Bustoz was a Professor of Mathematics at the Arizona State University (ASU) at the time he received the PAESMEM award. In 1973, Dr. Bustoz was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at la Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Dr. Bustoz career was dedicated to helping minority students in the field of mathematics. From the elementary school he attended, which was later renamed in his honor, to working extensively on Navajo and Pima tribal lands, his main focus was helping minority students advance in academia. His mission of providing opportunities to underrepresented students in the mathematics and science fields is continued by Arizona State University, who hosts the Joaquin Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program.

The Clubhouse Network (TCN)

The Clubhouse Network (TCN)

The Clubhouse Network (TCN) | null, Massachusetts | 2017

Since 1993, The Clubhouse Network (TCN) has provided a safe, creative after-school learning environment for young people in underserved communities. TCN serves 10,000 youth in 53 after-school Clubhouses in community centers, youth agencies, and social service organizations. According to a 2015 survey, over 75 percent of clubhouse members reported an interest in pursuing a STEM career. In 2017, The Clubhouse Network was awarded a multiyear grant, by the U.S. Department of Justice, to strengthen mentor participation around the United States.

Sandra Petersen

Sandra Petersen

University of Massachusetts, Amherst | Amherst, Massachusetts | 2013

Dr. Petersen has personally mentored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented STEM fields. During her ten years as Director for the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP), Dr. Peterson led the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, campus in tripling minority enrollments in STEM graduate programs from 22 percent to 63 percent. Most recently, Dr. Peterson created and leads the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) which provides strategies for broadening participation in the field.

Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN)

Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN)

Earth Science Women's Network | null, null | 2014

The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) was founded in 2002 by six atmospheric scientists and has since sought to empower early career women in geoscience fields. In 2014, ESWN officially launched as a nonprofit with goals of promoting career development, building community, providing informal mentoring and support, and facilitating professional collaborations. In 2017 ESWN, partnered with the American Geophysical Union and the Association for Women Geoscientists, to launch the ADVANCEGeo Partnership, in an effort to improve workplace climate for all women in geosciences.

Sekazi Mtingwa

Sekazi Mtingwa

Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC | Hillsborough, North Carolina | 2017

During his years at North Carolina A&T State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University, Dr. Mtingwa mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. In 1977, Dr. Mtingwa co-founded the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and served as NSBP President from 1992 to 1994. He is also a co-founder of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, the African Laser Centre, the African Physical Society, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (Ghana).

GeoFORCE Texas

GeoFORCE Texas

GeoFORCE Texas | Austin, Texas | 2012

GeoFORCE Texas is a K-12 outreach program designed to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM degrees and careers, especially in geology. Each summer GeoFORCE takes more than 600 high school students on geosciences field trips across the U.S., including spectacular locations such as the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Mount St. Helens, to name just a few. The trips are led by university faculty and research scientists and students are mentored by professional geologists from GeoFORCE industry partners. To date, over 1,300 students have completed the program, 100 percent of which graduated from high school.

Robin Dunbar

Robin Dunbar

Elizabeth River Project | Portsmouth, Virginia | 2017

In partnership with the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and Engineering, Ms. Dunbar launched America’s Greenest Vessel, The Learning Barge, to mentor students to restore the Chesapeake Bay’s polluted Elizabeth River. This one-of-a-kind education vessel has seen over 64,000 participants, spreading across all ages. In 2014, Ms. Dunbar was awarded the Governor’s Gold Award of Sustainable Environmental Excellence. The following year, she received the Virginia Environmental Excellence Award. Ms. Dunbar’s hands-on approach to education and mentoring impacted thousands of students in the state of Virginia.

Robert Megginson

Robert Megginson

University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 1997

Dr. Robert Megginson is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. One of only about a dozen Native Americans who are known to hold doctorates in mathematics, Dr. Megginson has served on and chaired numerous professional and national committees that address this problem. In addition to his committee and other advisory work around under-representation, he has spent time working directly with students of color to help them succeed in mathematically-based fields. Since 1992, he has helped design and has worked every summer in programs for precollege students at Turtle Mountain Community College, a tribal college of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation in North Dakota.

Kennedy Reed

Kennedy Reed

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Livermore, California | 2007

Dr. Kennedy Reed’s distinguished career can be summarized by his dedication to providing opportunities to underrepresented communities. Throughout his extensive career, Dr. Reed has helped more than 100 minority students receive their doctorate and, through the National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC), over 300 students receive graduate fellowships. Dr. Reed has also served as a visiting scientist in multiple countries and currently serves as a theoretical atomic physicist in the Theory Group in the Physics & Advanced Technologies Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Karen Lozano

Karen Lozano

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | Edinburg, Texas | 2017

Dr. Lozano holds hard work, personal responsibility, and innovation as the pillars of her mentoring philosophy. Dr. Lozano has developed a pathway for students to pursue their Ph.D. which involves relationships with universities across the country. She has also created high-tech research projects to maximize ungraduated participation. These activities have resulted in 100% retention and graduation of students who have joined her lab. Over 200 students have directly benefitted from Dr. Lozano’s research opportunities. Altogether, Dr. Lozano has worked with over 10,000 students, 80% of which were Hispanic.

Maria Dolores Cimini

Maria Dolores Cimini

University at Albany, State University of New York | Albany, New York | 2014

Dr. Maria Dolores Cimini received the PAESMEM award in 2014 for her efforts address and reduce barriers in STEM for individuals with disabilities and women with disabilities in particular. As an educator a disability herself, she has been able to draw upon her own challenges and harness them into national service. Dr. Cimini has been recognized by multiple agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. In 2012, President Obama recognized Dr. Cimini as a “Champion of Change in STEM.”

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) | Albuquerque, New Mexico | 1997

The American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) was founded in 1977 to promote the highest standards of education and professional excellence to widen the STEM workforce for American Indian populations. AISES currently serves almost 6,000 individual members through 230 affiliated pre-college schools and almost 200 chartered college and university chapters. Even more impressive, AISES serves members from over 200 tribal nations and has provided members with over 11 million dollars in scholarships.

Joe Cecil

Joe Cecil

Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, Oklahoma | 2020

Prior to becoming an educator at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Joe Cecil worked as an industrial engineer for seven years. His journey in mentoring, however, began long before that. Since 2001, Dr. Cecil has mentored over 800 students, grades 1-12, through the Soaring Eagle program. Dr. Cecil has used this program to pioneer a new way for students from underrepresented communities to participate in STEM using Virtual Reality based Learning Environments. The use of these Virtual Reality based Learning Environments has opened the door for minority students, women, autistic students, and those with physical disabilities to pursue careers in STEM.

Anne Donnelly

Anne Donnelly

University of Florida | Gainseville, Florida | 2013

Throughout her career, Dr. Anne Donnelly, has amassed a remarkable resume of STEM mentorship. Mentoring developed by Dr. Donnelly as part of the South East Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (SEAGEP) has resulted in dozens of Ph.D. placements in the private sector and government laboratories. With financial support from NSF, Dr. Donnelly developed a Research Experience for Undergraduates program in which 100 students (50 percent of whom were women and minorities) participated over a 10 year period. Dr. Donnelly also served on the President’s Council on Diversity at the University of Florida.

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) | Alexandria, Virginia | 2003

The National Society of Black Engineers was formed by six individuals in Chicago in 1974. Since then, the organization has grown to over 24,000 members and 600 chapters. The organization serves communities of all ages, offering resources for K-12 and collegiate students as well as memberships for professionals. Their mission to “increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community” can be shown by their career snapshot figures. The organization connects over 16,000 employers with over 42,000 job seekers while providing multiple opportunities for professional development.

Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE)

Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE)

Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) | null, null | 2015

The Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) program was launched in 1998 by Sylvia Bozeman and Rhonda Hughes to address pressure points in the STEM community such as access, visibility, and connections with professionals and opportunities. Participants of the EDGE program made up 35 percent of Ph.D.’s granted to African-American women in mathematical sciences from 2005-2009. At the time the award was given to EDGE (2015) the program had 200 participants with 56 women having completed a Ph.D., over 65 working towards their Ph.D. and 85 percent of the remaining participants having received a master’s degree.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute | Berkeley, California | 2020

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) was established in 1982 as a resource for students and professional mathematicians around the world. The organization works to expand the STEM work-force through mathematics outreach to underrepresented groups at all age levels. MSRI currently operates 10-12 summer graduate schools that mentor over 300 graduate students every year. The organization has received recognition and support from various government agencies including the National Science Foundation and the National Security Administration.

National Cancer Institute at Frederick

National Cancer Institute at Frederick

National Cancer Institute at Frederick | Frederick, Maryland | 2020

This Cancer Research Month we celebrate organizations like the National Cancer Institute at Frederick (NCI) for their history of training the next generation of scientists. NCI began its mentoring program in 1989; 32 years later, the organization has over 1,100 alumni. Of those alumni, 60% are female and a large number belong to underrepresented minority groups. Most impressive is that an estimated 80% of NCI alumni continue pursuing STEM-related careers after graduating from the program.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

University of Washington | Seattle, Washington | 2009

Michelle Williams is a globally recognized epidemiologist and public health scientist. Dr. Williams received the PAESMEM award during her tenure at the University of Washington School of Public Health. There she founded the university’s Multidisciplinary International Research Training Program (MIRT). Dr. Williams is now the Dean of the Faculty at Harvard’s School of Public Health. Most recently, Dean Williams was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was recognized by PR Week as one of the top 50 health influencers of the year.

William McHenry

William McHenry

Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University | Jackson, Mississippi | 2020

William McHenry has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his 43 year career as a STEM educator. As the faculty advisor for the Society of Black Engineers, Dr. McHenry was able to mentor over 1,000 students. Through his role with the Patricia Roberts Harris Program, he has been able to serve an additional 2,100 graduate students. Currently, Dr. McHenry is developing the STEM STARS Model with funding from the NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 program. The program prepares science and mathematics educators for high-needs schools in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Mulatu Lemma

Mulatu Lemma

Savannah State University | Savannah, Georgia | 2020

Dr. Lemma received his B.D. in mathematics education from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He spent five years teaching and mentoring at Awash Junior College, Ethiopia before beginning his 25 year tenure at Savannah State University. Since then, Dr. Lemma has published over 100 papers in peer reviewed journals, half of which he published with student mentees and junior faculty. Dr. Lemma believes that effective mentoring involves helping students build self-confidence, self-esteem, and research experience by nurturing and developing “mathematically-inclined” students, specifically minority students.

Richard Ladner

Richard Ladner

University of Washington | Seattle, Washington | 2004

Dr. Richard Ladner is a professor emeritus of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. Throughout his career, Richard has worked closely with students who have disabilities and has pioneered improved computing technology for people who are deaf or blind or both. He has organized mentoring workshops and academies for deaf and blind students pursuing careers in STEM. Richard is passionate about his advocacy for this community and is committed to increasing the number of students with disabilities who will earn graduate degrees.