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Stellar Roster: CSU’s White House honorees for science guidance

May 16, 2011

Category: News & Notes

As  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Teacher-in-Residence Anne Marie Bergen receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this week, she joins a select group of CSU individuals and programs to have been honored by the White House for science mentoring — including Frank Bayliss of San Francisco State University and CSU Northridge’s Steven Oppenheimer last year.

(In the photo above, Oppenheimer is in front row, second from left; Bayliss is in the back, third to the right of President Obama. Click to enlarge the photo.)

Nine CSU faculty members and two programs have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), a similar honor, also administered by the National Science Foundation. It cites those who excel at enhancing the participation of underrepresented groups in all levels of science education.

In chronological order, here are the PAESMEM honorees from the CSU (with campus):

Carlos Gutierrez1996 – Carlos Gutierrez (Los Angeles, biochemistry): Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), the Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Programs, and many other efforts to encourage and guide underrepresented students in science.

Herbert Silbert1998 – Herbert Silber (San Jose, chemistry): Mentor whose students co-authored 90 research publications and whose 20-year involvement with the American Chemical Society’s Summer Educational Experiences for the Disadvantaged SEED) program included service as chair of its national committee.

Ray Landis, center, with students1999 – Raymond Landis (Los Angeles, engineering): Founder and architect of the Minority Engineering Program at Cal State L.A., a national model for decades, developer of a program to enhance cross-cultural communication between faculty advisors and minority students, and author of a widely used freshmen-engineering textbook.

George Castro1999 – George Castro (San Jose, engineering): Developer of an on-the-job training program to assist minority students in becoming technicians at IBM Research (where he had worked), volunteer in outreach to K-12 schools to promote careers in science and engineering, and former president of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

INRSEP students2000 – Indian Natural Resources, Sciences and Engineering Program (Humboldt, directed by Russell Boham): Established in 1974, trainer of roughly 40 percent of nation’s natural resource professionals of Native American descent, linking strong academic program to cultural perspectives.

Mariaelena Zavala, right, with students2000 – Mariaelena Zavala (Northridge, biology): Research mentor to hundreds of undergraduates, many from families with no history of university attendance, with 70 percent (in 2000) in graduate programs and 52 percent in doctoral programs; former president  of SACNAS.

Carol Muller2001 – MentorNet (San Jose, directed by Carol Muller): Uses the Internet for large-scale mentoring, especially of women – matching thousands of students with nearly 2000 mentors from hundreds of companies and dozens of universities and governmental labs; helping retain diverse students in science, engineering and technology.

Barbara Burke2005 – Barbara Burke (Pomona, chemistry): director of Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES) program, which provides students with mentoring, peer mentoring, community involvement, and support for professional development and research.

David Pagni2005 – David Pagni (Fullerton, mathematics): Mentor to dozens of minority female high-school students each summer (1993-2004) as part of the Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (MISS) and major contributor to teacher-education and professional-development programs

Steven Oppenheimer2009 – Steven Oppenheimer (Northridge, biology): Director of CSUN Center for Cancer and Developmental Biology, creator of CSUN’s “Journal of Student Research Abstracts” to showcase research by K-12 students, and research mentor to countless undergraduate and graduate students.

Frank Bayliss2009 – Frank Bayliss (San Francisco, biology): Founder of SFSU’s first genetic-engineering laboratory, creator of Student Enrichment Opportunities office to support undergraduate and graduate biology and chemistry students (emphasizing key transitions on the freshman-to-Ph.D. student continuum).

At least one other CSU graduate who became a K-12 teacher has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching: Jeff Self, a Humboldt graduate who was at Washington School in Eureka when he was honored in 1991.

If you know of other CSU recipients of these awards, please let us know via a comment below or an email to skearns@calstate.edu.

– Sean Kearns

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