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Clemson Professor Receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clemson University School of Computing professor Juan Gilbert is one of nine people receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, the White House announced Tuesday, November 15, 2011.
The award recognizes the role mentors play in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering, especially those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. The award will be officially presented at the White House later this year.
"Through their commitment to education and innovation, these individuals and organizations are playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st century workforce," President Barack Obama said. "Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for helping ensure that America remains the global leader in science and engineering for years to come."  
Gilbert is chairman of the College of Engineering and Science's Human-Centered Computing Division, which seeks to develop computing solutions to real-world problems and to understand how computer technologies affect society. His team conducts research into such applications as electronic voting, workforce development, voice-texting and instructional technologies.
"I'm humbled to have been selected for this award and very pleased for the recognition it gives the students in the Human-Centered Computing Division," Gilbert said. "We take the 'human-centered' aspect of our work very seriously. It's their achievement that is truly being honored here."

Candidates for the Presidential Award for Excellence are nominated by colleagues, administrators and students in their respective schools. They are selected on the basis of the expertise and encouragement they give students, helping to "prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow’s innovators reflect and benefit from the diverse talent of the United States." 

Gilbert and the other recipients receive awards of $25,000 from the National Science Foundation to advance their mentoring efforts.
Earlier this year, Gilbert was selected to direct a three-year, $4.5 million project funded by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to increase the accessibility of "new, existing and emerging technological solutions" in the design of voting systems. His research team also is testing a new product called “Voiceing,” an application that allows drivers to speak, rather than type, text messages.
Gilbert is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, a national associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies and a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society. Last year he was named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery.
He has been named a national role model by Minority Access Inc., a "master of innovation" by Black Enterprise Magazine, a Modern-Day Technology Leader by the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference and Pioneer of the Year by the National Society of Black Engineers.
Gilbert earned his bachelor's degree in systems analysis from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Cincinnati.

To learn more about Clemson University’s graduate programs in Computing, please visit