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2005 Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

2005 Award Recipients

AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement


Sheila E. Browne

Dr. Sheila E. Browne is the recipient of the AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement. She is honored for her substantial contributions to mentoring students from underrepresented groups and leadership in promoting doctoral careers for underrepresented groups, primarily women, in chemistry.

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.

Dr. Sheila Browne is Bertha Phillips Rodger Professor of Chemistry at Mount Holyoke College, where she has been teaching for 30 years. She received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Being the first in her extended family to complete high school, Dr. Browne has overcome significant boundaries which she credits to the mentorship of teachers who encouraged her to envision a bigger future than she could see. Today, Dr. Browne is an accomplished physical organic chemist whose research program has expanded into polymer chemistry. In addition to her research and publications on biodegradable polymers, she is distinguished for her mentoring work to increase opportunities for ethnic groups underrepresented in the sciences. She is passionate about creating a welcoming atmosphere and actively develops and presents new methods of teaching that reduces fear and enhances success in science careers.

Dr. Browne has been involved in recruitment and retention efforts with AAAS, the Howard Hughes Foundation, the National Science Foundation’s Collaboration for Excellence in Teacher Preparation, the American Chemical Society, the New England Board of Higher Education Minority Science Network, and the Bayer Corporation. Her audiences have ranged from minority doctoral students to K-12 teachers and counselors to scientists and community leaders. In addition to her collegiate activities, Dr. Browne mentors two dozen students through the New England Board of Higher Education’s Science and Engineering Academic Support Network.

Dr. Browne is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering in Mentoring (1998) and the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Faculty Mentor of the Year Award (2001).

Please click here for a list of past recipients.