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AAAS Recognizes Sheila Browne And Karen Butler-Purry

March 27, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 13

Two women mentors are being recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their tireless efforts to help underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees in the sciences.

Sheila Browne, Bertha Phillips Rodger Chair in Chemistry at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., is the recipient of the 2005 AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, which recognizes Browne's success in increasing the number of women with Ph.D.s in chemistry.

Browne has mentored more than 83 students during their independent research projects, and more than 40% of those students were women of color. In addition, she cofounded Sistahs in Science in 1994, a student organization that promotes the advancement of minority women in science.

Browne's research involves monitoring the biosynthesis and biodegradation of bacterial polyesters in vivo. She will receive $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Karen L. Butler-Purry, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M University, received the 2005 AAAS Mentor Award. She has made student mentoring and counseling an integral part of her professional academic career, both in the electrical engineering and computer sciences areas.

She initiated the Engineering Graduate Invitational at Texas A&M University, which targets underrepresented students in engineering and encourages participants from minority-serving institutions. She also directs the College of Engineering Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Butler-Purry will receive $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.


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