It is my pleasure to welcome you once again today. This time we are gathered for the First Annual Awards Ceremony for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.
We are here to recognize the outstanding achievements of various institutions and individuals working to heighten the participation of individuals in underrepresented groups in science, mathematics and engineering.
We are also here to support and encourage all the best people with the best ideas--the awardees today.
As I mentioned this morning, the goals of the program are (1) to produce the best scientists and engineers for the 21st century and (2) to raise the scientific and technological literacy of all Americans.
Today's honorees have put forth tremendous effort to fulfill these goals. In doing so, they have contributed their time, energy, and enthusiasm, and in the process have set high standards for future science and engineering mentoring programs.
In fact, these individuals and institutions have done a highly commendable job to ensure that all students, beginning with Kindergarten and continuing through graduate level schooling, receive an excellent education and training in these areas. Their help has been instrumental in providing these students with the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We are a diverse nation, and this diversity has been one of America's strengths. And if science, mathematics, and engineering are to remain a hallmark of America's excellence, we need to have the same diversity in these ranks. We must remain committed to attracting and nurturing these fine young people so that they have the opportunity to reach the full potential of their talents. It is our nation's gain. Today's honorees have taken a giant step toward helping us reach that goal.
Today we congratulate their outstanding performance.
Now I'd like to turn the program over to Dr. Ernest Moniz.