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2015 Recognition Event

PAESMEM 2012 & 2013 Awardees

  2012 and 2013 awardees
with Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, NSF Asst. Dir., EHR (bottom row, third from left),
Dr. France A. Córdova, NSF Dir. (bottom row, fourth from left)
and Dr. John Holdren, White House OSTP Dir. (bottom row, fifth from left).
Not pictured: Dr. John Brooks Slaughter-represented at event by his son.


President Barack Obama honored recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) at the White House during a week of related events in mid-June. Fourteen individuals and one organization received recognition for their mentoring accomplishments. In his announcement, President Obama said the awardees help to expand the nation’s human resources in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“They open new worlds to their students and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That’s transforming those students’ futures, and our nation’s future, too."

As part of a four-day recognition event, held in conjunction with the observance of PAESMEM’s 20th Anniversary, the awardees received a tour of the White House as well as visits to the Executive Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for discussions on emerging issues in STEM education and the National Science Foundation (NSF) headquarters.

President Obama announced the 2012 and 2013 awardees on March 27, 2015. In his remarks at the awards ceremony, OSTP Director Dr. John Holdren lauded PAESMEM recipients, calling them critical influencers.

 “When students are faced with the kinds of challenges that often drive students away from STEM fields, particularly in high school and college, we know that the presence or absence of a mentor has a big effect on whether or not students persist in STEM or leave those fields. That’s one of the reasons why this Administration has given such a high priority to STEM mentoring,” said Dr. Holdren.

NSF Director Dr. France A. Córdova also praised the awardees and highlighted the vital role mentors play for many science and engineering students on both a personal and professional level.

In her keynote address, Dr. Jo Handelsman, a 2009 PAESMEM recipient and Associate Director for Science at OSTP, told the awardees the President and OSTP staff “are counting on our collaborations with you and the outstanding work that you do to bring [the increased] population of future STEM leaders into existence.”

[View the full event program.]

PAESMEM awardees, both individuals and organizations, receive a $10,000 award, a sponsored visit with one guest to Washington for the Recognition Event and a citation signed by the President.