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Dr. Bordogna's Remarks


Dr. Joseph Bordogna
Deputy Director
Chief Operating Officer
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science,
Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring
Opening Remarks
Washington D.C.

December 11, 2001

Good morning and welcome. It is my honor to address the recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Hearty and warm congratulations to all of you. Your efforts are a testament to the best of American education, and a reminder to us all of how mentors have influenced, and continue to influence, our lives.

Mentoring is a deeply rewarding and human activity. The President's recognition of your work ensures that your fellow citizens across the land know of your efforts to inspire your students and your communities and capitalize on your successful endeavors.

Since 1996, NSF has been privileged to assist the White House in recognizing a distinguished group of mentors who have done so much for so many. We are increasingly impressed by the efforts, quality, and impact of America's finest individual mentors and institutions who reach out and invest in the nation's students.

I know this is an exciting and proud moment for you, as well as for your families, friends, and colleagues. I'm so proud just to be here with you! You have joined a growing legion of great enablers and communicators for science, mathematics, and engineering.

Some of your predecessor awardees are here to honor you, help you celebrate, and welcome you to the national Presidential mentors' team.

We need you to share your accomplishments and interact as a group to help each other meet the many challenges of mentoring.

Each of you puts a personal face on a long-term joint investment that many see as too formidable. You succeed because you provide not just knowledge and intuition, and direction, but also motivation, colleagueship, and friendship.

You are the strong core that keeps those in your charge in pursuit of lofty and difficult goals. You are their continuing guide to reaching their goals As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." You not only show respect, you show understanding and compassion. This award you receive recognizes your dedicated efforts.

You represent a trend of excellent mentors bringing knowledge and a fascination for science, mathematics, and engineering to under-represented students -- students who might otherwise be ignored by under-resourced education systems.

Without your efforts, your pupils might never have the opportunity to experience such wonder and such a sense of accomplishment. As importantly, you have brought your teachings to individuals of all ages, reinforcing the critical message that education is a lifelong pursuit.

Your investment of yourselves is providing our nation with the educated and diverse workforce that we need for this century. You recognize that our greatest resources lie at home, and that the diversity of our scientists, mathematicians, and engineers will bring broad and refreshing insight to our most pressing scientific and economic challenges.

You carry forward one of the National Science Foundation's forefront aims: to help bring education to all Americans and to bring resources to those who are underserved.

As more individuals reap the rewards of education, they will spread their knowledge to others in their communities, an expanding, grass roots effect that will expand your influence.

I am inspired by your work, and I again encourage you to share your ideas with each other. I also encourage you to share your experiences with others in education, the public, and especially in the media.

America needs to know that progress is occurring all over this nation. Education is vibrant, and educators are dynamic and effective. Knowledge is power, and you have taken great strides to empower so many.

For all of your efforts to this date, and all of your efforts in the future, we congratulate and thank you.



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