I am Neal Lane, Director of the National Science Foundation.
It is my very great pleasure to welcome you to this symposium, "Mentoring for the Twenty-First Century," as we celebrate the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering.
I am delighted to be with you for a portion of this morning's session, and I plan to also see you at the Awards ceremony this afternoon.
Throughout the day, we will be hearing from speakers and respondents during the Plenary and Panel Sessions focusing on the topic of mentoring--so important to all of our lives and careers and far too often taken for granted and left to chance.
We all know why the Administration launched the mentoring program. It is designed to demonstrate that mentoring and role modeling are vital to the development of talent indeed "intellectual capital" in science, mathematics, and engineering, especially from the many segments of our society that remain underrepresented in scientific and technological fields.
These sessions will bring more emphasis to the mentoring concept. They will also move us toward the larger goals of producing the best scientists and engineers for the 21st century and raising the scientific and technological literacy of all Americans.
These are lofty goals, but they are within reach. If we continue to apply our collective talents, we should be able to devise a bold but workable plan to achieve them.
Please, enjoy the day's activities. We are happy you are here.
It is now my pleasure to introduce, Dr. Ruby Takanishi.