President Obama today named 94 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Among the recipients is Georgia Tech graduate, Dr. Gayle S.W. Hagler. Gayle earned a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering in 2002 and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 2007.
Dr. Hagler currently works with the National Risk Management Research Laboratory at the Environmental Protection Agency. During her enrollment at Tech, she was a President's Scholar and served as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Kimberly Kurtis, professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is extremely grateful for the outstanding support and guidance she received while in school. Specifically, she acknowledged Dr. Laurence Jacobs, associate dean in the College of Engineering and professor of civil engineering, for the "long advice sessions that led me to switch to civil and environmental engineering". She recognized Randy McDow for his relentless work with the President's Scholarship Program, and Dr. Michael Bergin, professor of environmental engineering, for being "the best Ph.D. advisor I could have ever hoped for."
The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. Sixteen Federal departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
“It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers—careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation,” President Obama said. “That so many of them are also devoting time to mentoring and other forms of community service speaks volumes about their potential for leadership, not only as scientists but as model citizens.”
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
For a complete list of this year's recipients, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/26/president-obama-honors-outstanding-early-career-scientists.