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2002 Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

2002 Award Recipients

AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement


This year’s recipient of the AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement is Dr. Neena B. Schwartz. She is honored for her passionate dedication and long-standing commitment to promoting the careers of female scientists.

Dr. Neena B. Schwartz has been a pioneer in the field of endocrinology for more than 50 years. Over the course of those years, she has been one of the most important leaders in promoting the careers of female life scientists and in creating an environment within national societies and granting agencies that has enabled many female scientists to follow in her footsteps. She serves as the director for reproductive science and as the William Deering Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Northwestern University.

As co-founder of American Women in Science, Schwartz served as its first president. In this capacity, she helped increase significantly the number of women who served as members of peer review study sections. She also founded Women in Endocrinology, a group within the Endocrine Society, which has raised the profile of women in providing research direction in the field. In the formation of both of these organizations, she enhanced the availability of senior female mentors to young women scientists to help them work their way through the system. Again, in her role as president of the American Endocrine Society and the Society for the Study of Reproduction, she formulated policies within these organizations which have advanced the careers of women.

Schwartz has directly mentored 15 doctoral recipients from under-represented groups, primarily women, in the sciences. She has mentored another 20 underrepresented students at the bachelor’s and master’s level and worked directly with 10 post-doctoral fellows. One of her colleagues, Fred Turek, director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology and Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor at Northwestern University, noted that “few mentors put the careers and goals of their students before their own, but Dr. Schwartz often did.”

Having authored more than 200 publications in the area of reproductive biology, Schwartz has held important leadership roles at the national level, not only in the area of reproductive biology but also in broader areas of science, including within AAAS. She served as a member of the AAAS Board of Directors from 2000 to 2002 and was elected a fellow of AAAS in 1986. Her honors include the Carl Hartman Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Williams Distinguished Service Award of the Endocrine Society. Schwartz received her undergraduate degree from Goucher College. Following graduation, she continued her studies at Northwestern University where she was awarded both her master’s and doctoral degrees.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.