SF State News {University Communications}

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Vazquez receives presidential honor at Smithsonian, White House

August 02, 2012 --

This week, Associate Professor of Mathematics Mariel Vazquez was honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. where she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the nation's highest honor for researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Photo of President Barack Obama addressing 96 PECASE awardees.

President Barack Obama addresses 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East Room of the White House, July 31, 2012. Mariel Vazquez is 3rd from the right on the front row. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

The July 31 ceremony came a week after President Barack Obama announced Vazquez was among 96 young scientists chosen for the prestigious PECASE Award.

Following the awards ceremony, the researchers met with President Obama at the White House. The President thanked them for their research and encouraged them to keep up the good work. Vazquez and the other awardees also took part in a series of briefings with staff from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Photo of Mariel Vazquez with Cora Marrett from NSF and John Holdren from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Mariel Vazquez (center) with Cora Marrett (left), National Science Foundation deputy director, and John Holdren (right), the President's science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren led the PECASE awards ceremony held at the Smithsonian. Credit: Sandy Schaeffer for NSF

PECASE awardees are selected for their innovative research and commitment to community service. Vazquez is a pioneer in an emerging field called DNA topology, which applies pure math to the biological mysteries of DNA, and is committed to mentoring students who are underrepresented in the sciences. She is the first SF State faculty member to receive the PECASE award.

Read more about Vazquez's PECASE award at: http://news.sfsu.edu/president-obama-names-sf-state-math-professor-top-young-scientist


--Elaine Bible


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