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White House lauds Physiological Society for mentoring underrepresented minorities in biomedicine

WASHINGTON (May 6, 2004) -- The White House and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced that the American Physiological Society (APS) is being awarded the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Mentoring.

The award carries a $10,000 grant, which APS will use to help fund the Porter Physiology Fellowship Program designed to encourage underrepresented minority students in pursuing a doctorate in the physiological sciences. (See www.the-aps.org for more information.) APS was one of eight institutions and nine individuals to receive the Presidential award.

Based on APS' 40-year efforts, the Presidential Award said: "The American Physiological Society has undertaken initiatives across multiple levels of the education continuum to: develop long-term targeted programs for minority students and teachers; increase diversity among physiologists; and monitor the progress of minorities in the field of physiology."

APS Executive Director Dr. Martin Frank said: "The Society's programs to promote physiology among underrepresented minority students from kindergarten through post-doctoral studies started in 1966 when the Porter Fellowship refocused its efforts to encourage post-doctoral minority students. That was followed in 1987 by the APS Minority Travel Fellowships to our annual meeting and in 1990 when APS instituted its high school programs."

According to Dr. Marsha Lakes Matyas, APS Educational Director: "What sets the APS diversity efforts apart is that all of our programs from preschool through graduate education are carefully designed to encourage active participation by minority participants and are evaluated regularly for their impact and effectiveness," she said. "As a result, APS efforts form a cohesive and coherent support network promoting both diversity and excellence in science education and biomedical research."

"Minority participation in science has its roots in the
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6-May-2004


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