Gary S. May, chancellor of the University of California, Davis, will receive the 2021 Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award honors researchers who, for 25 years or more, have positively impacted the atmosphere of a department or institution by mentoring students who are underrepresented in STEM fields, such as women, African American, Native American and Hispanic men, and people with disabilities. Over a three-decade career as a professor of computer engineering and university administrator, May has founded numerous programs that support underrepresented minority STEM students and mentored more than 100 Ph.D. candidates. Many of May’s mentees are now mentors in their own right, with high-ranking positions in academia and industry.
“In every role Chancellor May has played in higher education, he has sought to support the entry and success of students from underrepresented minority populations and first-generation college students,” said Shirley Malcom, director of SEA Change, a AAAS initiative that helps universities build more inclusive campuses. “Leadership matters a lot in diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM, and we are pleased he has been recognized for a lifetime of such leadership.”
Hired by the Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in 1991, May went on to spend 26 years on the school’s faculty. In 2011, he became dean of Georgia Tech’s college of engineering, a position he held until moving to UC Davis in 2017.