- Dr. Colón was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Research Initiation Award (1994) and the Whitaker Foundation Fellowship (1994-97), both for early promise in research. He also received the NSF Award for Special Creativity (1999-2001), and the University at Buffalo Inventors Recognition Award (2000 & 2001). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2005; this same year, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund honored him with the Optimista Award for success achieved through persistence in the face of adversity and inducted him into its Alumni Hall of Fame. This is a distinction shared with the 17th Surgeon General of the United States of America, Dr. Richard Carmona. Dr. Colón has devoted years to mentoring women and underrepresented students in chemistry to success. Dr. Colón believes in involving undergraduates in research as early as possible. Dr. Colón also understands the importance of building strong relationships between faculty to create long lasting and supportive environments for student success at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Dr. Anne E. Donnelly has worked strategically at the University of Florida to provide proactive, one-on-one guidance to students outside of the traditional departmental structure while maintaining access to the highest levels of the Administration. She has served on numerous review panels, project boards of directors, and evaluation committees for both the National Science Foundation and the University of Florida (where she was named to the President’s Council on Diversity). Her interest in curricular development in science and engineering fields has enabled her mentees to benefit from the University of Florida’s undergraduate research coursework, a unique program she helped develop where students gain credit hours for their experiential learning in the laboratory. Her insistence that no one be left behind has made Dr. Donnelly’s work an integral part of the University of Florida’s diversity and inclusion activities. From research experiences in particle engineering, to international research opportunities, to troubleshooting across departments and programs, to recruitment and personal coaching, Dr. Donnelly has demonstrated a career-long commitment to broadening the education horizon for hundreds of minority students at the University of Florida.
- Since joining the Howard University faculty in 1985, Dr. Fleming has spent much
of her professional career designing and implementing mentoring efforts to enhance the participation of African Americans in STEM careers, and improving the quality of engineering education for undergraduates. In 2004, she established a major center at Howard University to enhance the preparation for, and participation in, STEM disciplines by African-Americans at Howard. Dr. Fleming is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a licensed professional engineer, and a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission. She earned her PhD in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. At the middle school level she works to expose girls and underrepresented minority students to career options in STEM and to connect them to undergraduate role models and mentors. At the undergraduate and graduate level, Dr. Fleming works to ensure every student’s success in her/his degree program as well as enhance the overall quality of education and training by adding research experiences and international opportunities.
- The GeoFORCE program engages students in the critical four-years of high school with opportunities to experience science outside the classroom and continues through the college years with mentoring and help in finding financial aid. 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. GeoFORCE demonstrates to minority teenagers that science is the lens through which our fascinating planet is understood. The program’s 100% high school graduation rate and the 95% college enrollment rate are testimony to the power of linking young kids together, over a four-year period, and showing them that learning and doing science is rewarding and fun.
Accepting the award today, on GeoForce’s behalf, are the representatives:
Dr. Samuel L. Moore | Director (Left) & Dr. Douglas Ratcliff | Founder (Right)
- Dr. Sheila Humphreys has a remarkable 35 year record of success in recruiting, retaining, and mentoring women and underrepresented minority students in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. More than 50 women and 30 underrepresented minority men and women have completed doctoral degrees with her encouragement and assistance. Many more undergraduate and master’s degree students in the same categories have succeeded with the assistance of ground-breaking programs that Dr. Humphreys developed. Many of her graduate-level protégés have gone on to successful professional careers in academia, industry, and government.
- Dr. Raymond Johnson was the first African-American student admitted to Rice University and the first to receive a degree from that institution, eventually earning his doctorate in mathematics. After a 40-year career at the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Johnson recently returned to Rice as a visiting professor. Throughout his career at the University of Maryland, first as Chair of the Graduate Studies Department and later as Chair of the Mathematics Department, Dr. Johnson founded several programs to help eliminate barriers for minority students in mathematics. His protégés had the benefit of his intense personal counseling, emphasis on inter-departmental networking, and regular group meetings to build cohesion among a diverse set of graduate students. Today his protégés can be found in mathematics departments across the country: testimony to his nearly 30 years of commitment to opening pathways for minority students.
- Dr. Murty S. Kambhampati has helped to prepare underrepresented minority high school students for college and undergraduate students for graduate programs through intensive research mentoring (hands-on and minds-on experience) and scientific competition (presentations at research conferences). Dr. Kambhampati’s mentoring philosophy is deeply rooted in the idea that better citizens are produced through a learning experience that is both interesting and stimulating. He has been a principal architect of an academic atmosphere of success for his minority students at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), a Historically Black University. His tireless efforts at securing support for his protégés and his programs has resulted in a college graduation rate the envy of any institution: All of his 65 protégés over the last 12 years have been graduated in STEM fields from SUNO. His methods are simple, and enduring: build student skills and confidence, and create channels that lead to career opportunities.
- Dr. John T. Matsui’s mission has been to level the playing field for low-income and first generation college students in biology at UC Berkeley. Since co-founding his Biology Scholars Program in 1992, he has taught and mentored over 3000 Berkeley undergraduates. These students out of high school enter Berkeley with lower GPAs and SATs than other biology-majors and graduate on par with biology degrees and above 3.0 GPAs; making them highly competitive for MD and science PhD programs. The take-away message from Dr. Matsui’s 22 years of teaching and mentoring is that meeting America’s STEM workforce shortfall is indeed a “treatable condition” and that individuals from challenging or disadvantaged backgrounds can excel in science. His success demonstrates that the science community can be “part of the solution” by rethinking how we teach, mentor, and advise our future scientists. Finally, Dr. Matsui argues that making science more accessible to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds improves the science education/research training experience for all.
- Dr. Gary S. May has two decades of experience promoting the success of students from underrepresented groups in science and engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. May’s two signature programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science
(SURE) program and the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) program have been operational for more than 20 and 15 years, respectively. Longevity in program work such as this is testimony to his success in mentoring students into engineering and science careers.
- Dr. Beth A. Olivares believes that authentic diversity is integral to the success of American education and research. She holds firmly to the belief that knowledge cannot advance if large segments of our population are absent from our learning institutions. STEM research moves forward when individuals of varying backgrounds have the opportunity to learn and work together. The University of Rochester
is home to three of her innovative programs (the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement program, the David T. Kearns Science and Engineering Scholars program, and the Xerox Engineering Fellows program). In recognition of her work through the McNair community, she received the Felicita Rodriguez Torres Award of Excellence by the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE) in 2005. She earned her PhD in English from Fordham University.
- Ms. Elizabeth Parry has worked tirelessly to promote personal mentoring, tiered mentoring, and teacher professional development for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Parry is a lead in the The Engineering Place, the K-12 Outreach program at North Carolina State University College of Engineering and is a pioneering champion of engineering in K-12 curricula. She developed the RAMP-UP (Recognizing Accelerated Math Potential in Underrepresented People) program, which connected K-12 students (particularly minority students from high poverty areas) with graduate and undergraduate students, thereby providing youngsters with access to new knowledge and a look at what their future peer group could be. Her work in making engineering accessible and understandable to students from PreK-20 is key to the kind of learning that is needed to prepare the innovative workforce for the future.
- Dr. Sandra L. Petersen earned her PhD in biology from Oregon State University, and in her ten years as Director of the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, she has led the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts to triple enrollments of minority students in STEM programs and retain the students through their degrees. To paraphrase one of her students: Dr. Petersen is one of the busiest people I know, yet when you are with Sandy, you feel like the most important thing on her mind. This is a powerful testimony to Dr. Petersen’s attention to each student and her positive influence.
- Dr. Tilak Ratnanather has devoted himself to recruiting and mentoring an unprecedented number of deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) individuals into STEM fields in not only the United States, but worldwide. Dr. Ratnanather has a simple yet powerful objective for his mentoring programs: to provide opportunity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for deaf and HOH individuals who may not have otherwise been exposed to STEM, and to achieve this objective through extensive and involved networking, allowing his protégés to serve asmentors in turn. Dr. Ratnanather’s motivation to recruit and retain deaf and HOH individuals in STEM is built on the certainty that these individuals can contribute a unique perspective in STEM, specifically in auditory-related sciences and medicine.
- Dr. John B. Slaughter has spent more than four decades devoted to successful efforts aimed at increasing the representation and equitable inclusion of African-American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in the scientific and engineering fields. Dr. Slaughter’s role in supporting the growth of major U.S. educational, governmental, and non-profit institutions has provided access, opportunity, and critical resources for minority participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research and education. His positive influence on the lives of young men and women from groups underrepresented in those fields is substantial. Dr. Slaughter is a former Director of the National Science Foundation, former President of the University
of Maryland College Park, former President of Occidental College, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education.
- Dr. Julio G. Soto is an accomplished researcher and teacher, combining research and education to deliver a powerful mentoring program at San Jose State University. Fifty-six percent of his students have pursued professional or graduate degrees after completing their undergraduate or master’s degree as a result of his mentorship. With his firm belief that effective mentoring is needed throughout one’s academic and professional life, Dr. Soto has used different strategies to assist his mentees
in understanding and exceeding expectations in order for them to obtain their educational and career goals. Dr. Soto is recognized as a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring for his decade and a half work at San Jose State University where his efforts are built on the belief that all students are capable of success in their education and careers.