Presidential Science Award


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Los Angeles, California -- October 11, 1996 -- California State University, Los Angeles chemistry professor Carlos G. Gutierrez was among the first honorees named by the President of the United States to receive the newly-established annual Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, September 25.

Administered and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the awards were presented to 10 individuals and 6 institutions from across the country whose outstanding mentoring efforts were deemed most responsible for enhancing the participation of underrepresented groups in science, math and engineering. Awardees received a $10,000 grant, to be directed back into the recognized activity, and a Presidential commemorative certificate recognizing them as exemplars to their colleagues and leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the nation's human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.

Carlos Gutierrez joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1976. A professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, he is also director of the University's NIH (National Institutes of Health) Minority Access to Research Careers and Minority Biomedical Research Support programs. In his 20 years at Cal State L.A., Gutierrez has had significant impact on minority student education; he has mentored more than 180 students through his involvement with NIH-funded programs or as a faculty participant in other department projects such as the NSF Research Improvement in Minority Institutions and Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs.

In great part through his effort, the American Chemical Society (ACS) established the Committee on Minority Affairs in 1993, with Gutierrez serving as its first chair. This committee in turn established the ACS Minority Scholars Program, a $5 million scholarship program for undergraduates, and the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in Chemical Sciences.

As vice-chair of the National Academy of Science Committee on a National Scholars Program, under contract to NASA, Gutierrez has articulated persuasively the responsibility of all faculty -- but especially science faculty -- to seek out talented minority students and encourage their academic development very early in their undergraduate careers.

Gutierrez received a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA and Ph.D. from UC Davis. He served as chair of his department at CSLA from 1988-92 and was Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley from Fall 1989 to Winter 1991. He has served on and chaired various NIH committees, subcommittees and NIGMS Council, and is an advisory committee member of the National Research Council Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel. He has published numerous articles, all with student coauthors.

Gutierrez received the University's Outstanding Professor Award for 1983-84; the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Cal State L.A. chapter of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi in 1985; the CSLA Hispanic Support Network Outstanding Educator Award in 1993; and the CSLA Associated Students Outstanding Faculty Award in 1996. Gutierrez, his wife, Linda Tunstad, an assistant professor of chemistry at Cal State L.A., and daughter Naomi, a junior at UC Davis, live in Pasadena.

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