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ASU math mentor meets Obama in Oval Office

line of people in Oval Office with President Obama
December 16, 2011

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, a mathematical epidemiologist at Arizona State University, was among a small group of mentors honored by President Obama in a White House ceremony Dec. 12 as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Castillo-Chavez, an ASU Regents’ Professor, is the founding director of the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, which was recognized for the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering – particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. Castillo-Chavez also is a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and a faculty member in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the School of Sustainability.

The Presidential Award is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which noted that by offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow's innovators reflect and benefit from the diverse talent of the United States. Recipients of the recognition receive awards of $25,000 from NSF to advance their mentoring efforts.

"Through their commitment to education and innovation, these individuals and organizations are playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st century workforce," President Obama said when he first announced the awardees. "Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for helping ensure that America remains the global leader in science and engineering for years to come."

More information about the award is on the NSF website.