Indo—American honoured with PAESMEM
An Indian-American and a Sri Lankan-origin scientist and teacher are among fourteen individuals and one organization named winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).
Andhra University graduate Mr Murty S. Kambhampati, a professor of biology at Southern University at New Orleans, and Sri Lankan origin Mr Tilak Ratnanather, an associate professor in the biomedical engineering department of the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later in 2015. “These educators are helping to cultivate America’s future scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” President Barack Obama said announcing the names of the award winners on March 27, 2015. “They open new worlds to their students, and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That’s transforming those students’ futures, and our nation’s future, too,” he said.
The PAESMEM is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize 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. In addition to being honoured at the White House, recipients receive awards of USD 10,000 from the National Science Foundation. The mentors and organizations announced represent the winners for 2012 and 2013.
Mr Kambhampati holds a PhD from Jackson State University in Environmental Science and a PhD from Andhra University, India in Ecology. Over the years, he established excellent collaborations with several institutions to place students for summer internships and ecological field trips. He is an active research mentor for undergraduates and is Southern University at New Orleans’s Beta Kappa Chi/National Institute of Science chapters’ sponsor. He has won several awards for his work as a mentor, including the National Role Model Faculty Award from Minority Access, Inc., in 2008.