The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.
Dr. Melvin Webb began developing mentoring activities in 1979 with the Saturday Science Academy program in Atlanta, which provided educational enhancement in science, mathematics, computer application and communication skills for elementary-school students, and a Summer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Institute for high-school students. His efforts to increase the participation of women and minorities span more than 22 years. The Saturday Science Academy enrolled more than 5,000 local students between 1979 and 1996, and posed as a national model for similar programs.
Dr. Webb's activities have progressed based on solid planning developing funds and implementation strategies that have had profound effects on minority success in STEM. From his faculty post in the Biology Department at Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Webb subsequently began to develop programs supporting undergraduate students. He led the effort to develop a multi-departmental honors program through which students could earn both a B.S. and an M.S. in five years; this became the Program for Research Integration and Support for Matriculation to the Doctorate (PRISM-D). The first cohort of students was in 1990-91. Thus far six cohorts have graduated and 131of the 145 participants have earned B.S. degrees (90.3 percent), and 80 of the 131 B.S. degree recipients have earned M.S. degrees in the sciences (61 percent). Several students have earned doctorate degrees or are in graduate or professional schools. Dr. Webb has published and presented numerous papers detailing his success at local, regional and national levels, providing dissemination of the mentoring models that pose as successful practices in STEM education. Also noteworthy is the network of K-12 schools, government and industry participants partnering in the programs that Dr. Webb has built.