SF State News {University Communications}

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Bayliss honored at White House for science mentoring

January 6, 2010 -- Professor of Biology Frank Bayliss was honored Jan. 6 at the White House with the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Bayliss was one of only 20 mentors to be recognized by President Barack Obama for their work in mentoring underrepresented minorities in the sciences.

A photo of Professor of Biology Frank Bayliss.

At a White House ceremony that included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and members of the House of Representatives, Obama commended the recipients and stressed the importance of restoring the U.S.' prowess in math and the sciences.

During his nearly 35 years at SF State, Bayliss has been instrumental in opening the sciences to undergraduates. Bayliss noticed a shortage of students -- particularly underrepresented minorities -- in the sciences who went on to complete master's and doctoral degrees. He responded by founding the Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office in 1992.

The SEO has yielded significant results including higher retention and academic achievement of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. From 1984 to 2003, only one minority undergraduate from SF State went on to complete a doctorate in the sciences. From 2004 to 2007, 21 underrepresented minorities completed doctorates in the sciences, with another 73 expected to complete doctorates in the next five years.

Bayliss himself provides one-on-one mentoring to 70 students currently in the program. To date, more than 800 SEO-funded students have benefited from the office's mentoring, scholarships, classes and seminars.

-- Michael Bruntz


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