December 9, 1999
CONTACT: Jeanne Oswald
(609) 292-4310

Linkages Between Higher Education and P-12 Recognized:
3 NJ Universities Win Award for Mentoring in Math, Science and Engineering

Underscoring ongoing efforts to strengthen linkages between P-12 and higher education, individuals from three New Jersey universities were recognized this week by President Bill Clinton for outstanding efforts to encourage underrepresented high school students to pursue collegiate study in math, science and engineering.

Ten individuals and five institutions on Monday received the 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in recognition of their long-term commitment to increasing opportunities for women, minorities, and disabled students in math, science, and engineering. The awards include a $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"New Jersey accounts for one-fifth of these prestigious national awards, which demonstrates the higher education community's exceptional commitment to improving educational opportunities for students while they are still in high school," said James E. Sulton, Jr., executive director of the Commission on Higher Education. "These programs have successfully encouraged underrepresented students to enroll in college and pursue degrees in math and the sciences, opening the door to scientific and technical careers they might not have considered otherwise."

Dr. Sulton noted that the individual and institutional awards complement a number of state-level efforts to improve collaboration between P-12 and higher education, including state-funded precollege programs and increased communication between the Commission on Higher Education and the State Board of Education. He noted that earlier this week, the two boards co-sponsored a summit on high school to college transitions that involved 150 education leaders and stakeholders.

"The extraordinary dedication of New Jersey's award recipients has made a positive difference in the lives of high school students," said Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe. "Thanks to their efforts, thousands of students have been prepared for challenging, rewarding careers. Those who follow in their footsteps will have a chance at a brighter future."

The Douglass Project for Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering was recognized for its three-year hands-on science program, which has served 900 young women in grades 9-11. The Douglass program also includes peer and faculty mentoring, undergraduate research, internships, and academic enrichment programs for college women.

Ajay Kumar Bose, a professor of chemistry at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken was recognized for precollege and undergraduate summer research programs he has offered since 1972. The collegiate program has encouraged more than 400 students to pursue careers in medicine and chemical sciences. The precollege component establishes relationships with high school teachers, helping them to convey the excitement of chemistry through experimentation. Through his "Equipment of the Month Club," Dr. Bose also lends sophisticated equipment to inner city schools.

Harold Deutschman, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology, was recognized for 29 years of initiating, directing and teaching precollege programs that encourage students to enter college and pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering. Dr. Deutschman has mentored over 2,500 students, primarily minority students from the greater Newark area. More than 95% of these students have enrolled in college and 70% have majored in science, mathematics, or engineering.

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