AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement
2010 Award Recipients
Joel D. Oppenheim
Joel D. Oppenheim is honored for his extraordinary leadership to increase the numbers of African and Hispanic Americans in the Ph.D. biomedical workforce.
Dr. Joel Oppenheim has served as a steadfast mentor and created lasting impact at New York University (NYU) through the founding of NYU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, which has become one of the most competitive STEM undergraduate programs in the country, and NYU’s Postdoctoral Program to increase the number of fellows from underserved groups and improve the quality of their postdoctoral experience. His leadership at the national level and at the NYU School of Medicine has increased participation of both women and minorities in the Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. biomedical sciences.
Currently, Dr. Oppenheim is the Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences at the NYU School of Medicine, serves on the M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committees, and chairs the Ph.D. Admissions Committee there. During his tenure, he has developed a recruitment and support effort that has transformed the demographics of the graduate student population at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Oppenheim has also personally mentored 165 biomedical scientists from underrepresented minorities who have gone on to become part of the Ph.D. workforce.
Dr. Oppenheim is the founder and organizer of “What Can You Be With a Ph.D.?,” a science and technology career symposium. In 1992, he launched The Leadership Alliance, a consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to increasing participation by underserved students in graduate studies and research professions in the academic, public, and private sectors. Dr. Oppenheim has been an invited speaker on graduate education issues at a number of large national meetings and programs throughout the country, including the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Symposia and the National Meetings of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
Dr. Oppenheim received a B.S. in zoology-genetics from the University of Wisconsin and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the Loyola University School of Medicine, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Microbiology at the NYU School of Medicine.
The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, established in 1991, honors AAAS members who have mentored significant numbers of students from under- represented groups or who have changed the climate of a department, college, institution, or field to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies in the sciences. This award is directed toward individuals with more than 25 years of success in mentoring students. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Please click here  for a list of past recipients.