AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement
2008 Award Recipients
Percy A. Pierre
Percy A. Pierre
Percy A. Pierre is honored for his extraordinary dedication to increasing the number of African-American and Hispanic-American PhDs in Engineering.
The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, established in 1991, honors a member of the Association who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in efforts to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in science and engineering and helped guide significant numbers of students from these groups to the completion of doctoral studies, or has impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies. This award is directed toward individuals with 25 or more years of success in mentoring students. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Throughout his career, Percy A. Pierre has assisted in the creation of many important national programs that have led to an increase in engineering PhDs among minorities. He was instrumental in the founding of the National Action Council for Minority Engineers (NACME) and is credited with the institution of the first doctoral programs in electrical and mechanical engineering at Howard University—the first such programs at any Historically Black College or University. Dr. Pierre was also instrumental in the creation of other organizations designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in science, math and engineering, including the National GEM Consortium, MESA, the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), and SECME.
As Professor of Engineering at Michigan State University (1998), he started the Sloan Engineering Program to support the recruitment and retention of minority doctoral students. Through this program alone, he has mentored 27 African- and Hispanic-American doctoral graduates. Now, as Vice President and Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University, Dr. Pierre collaborates with faculty members in the department of electrical and computer engineering to help build research programs and research centers.
Dr. Pierre earned his PhD in electrical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and is recognized as the first African-American to hold such a degree. His research interests are in the area of applications of stochastic models in engineering systems.
Dr. Pierre has held a series of administrative posts in government and higher education including White House Fellow, Office of the President (1969-70); Dean, College of Engineering, Howard University (1971-77); Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition (1977-81); President, Prairie View A&M University (1983-89); and Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies, Michigan State University (1990-95). He has received numerous awards and honors and continues to serve on many governing and advisory boards in the areas of research and development and education.