Rosemary Gillespie receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring

November 16, 2005

by National Science Foundation

Rosemary Gillespie, professor of Insect Biology in ESPM, is one of 10 individuals who were awarded the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) on Nov. 16. The award includes a $10,000 grant for continued mentoring work.

Gillespie, who is also director of Berkeley's Exploring California Biodiversity outreach program, was recognized primarily for her work on ways in which Native Pacific Island students can be encouraged to participate in the stewardship of island biology. She continues to build linkages between cutting-edge biology research and the local environment of Pacific-Islander students, presenting her students with opportunities to investigate careers in environmental science and conservation biology.

For Gillespie, mentoring can be a critical intervention. She has involved her students in hands-on and insightful activities through which they learn about their ecological communities. Because comparatively few projects address the Native Pacific Island population, her efforts focus on tracking students and documenting retention of students.

PAESMEM honors individuals and institutions that have enhanced the participation of underrepresented groups--such as women, minorities and people with disabilities--in science, mathematics and engineering education at all levels. Since its inception in 1996, the PAESMEM program has recognized 97 individuals and 68 institutions. Each year's awardees add to the recognition of a widening network of outstanding mentors in the United States, assuring that tomorrow's scientists and engineers will better represent the nation's diverse population.