Educators in Texas and Massachusetts earn top 2005 mentoring awards from AAAS

For their tireless efforts to help underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees in the sciences, two women -- a chemistry professor at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., and an engineering professor at Texas A&M University, College Station -- will receive top honors from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific organization.

Sheila Browne, also the Bertha Phillips Rodger Chair in Chemistry at Mount Holyoke College, received the prestigious 2005 AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement. She directed the bachelor's or master's theses of 79 women, 28 of whom went on to doctoral degrees and 31 of whom were minorities; and directed the doctoral work of two women.

Karen L. Butler-Purry of Texas A&M University received the 2005 AAAS Mentor Award. She has mentored 18 underrepresented students through the doctoral level and has positively affected the lives of scores more undergraduate and graduate students through her involvement in student-focused activities.

2005 AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

Being the first in her extended family to complete high school, Dr. Browne overcame significant obstacles through the mentorship of teachers who she says encouraged her to envision a bigger future than she could see. Today, Dr. Browne is an accomplished physical organic chemist. In addition to her research and publications on biodegradable polymers, she is distinguished for her mentoring work to increase opportunities for ethnic groups underrepresented in the sciences. She is passionate about creating a welcoming atmosphere and actively develops and presents new methods of teaching that reduce fear and enhance success in science careers.

This award recognizes Dr. Browne's success in increasing the number of women with Ph.D. degrees in chemistry. Among her accomplishments, she secured funding from GE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for summer


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