Dr. Joseph Bordogna
Chief Operating Officer
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science,
Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring
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
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,
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
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.