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SF State professor honored by President Obama for science mentoring
Date:7/10/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, -- For nearly 20 years, Frank Bayliss' mentoring work has made San Francisco State University a leader in training and educating minority students in the sciences. For his efforts, Bayliss has been awarded a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Bayliss will officially receive the award during a reception at the White House this fall.

Bayliss had already been teaching biology at SF State for nearly two decades when he noticed a shortage of students -- particularly underrepresented minorities -- in the sciences who went on to complete master's and doctoral degrees. He founded the Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office in 1992 to meet that need. The office provides financial support and mentoring to students in the sciences from the undergraduate to doctoral level. SEO now helps send 20 to 25 underrepresented minority students from SF State to doctoral programs each year. From 1984 to 2003, only one underrepresented minority student from SF State entered a doctoral program in the sciences.

The SEO office provides financial support, hands-on research opportunities and supplementary instruction for science students. Bayliss himself provides one-on-one mentoring with the 70 current students in the program. To date, more than 800 SEO-funded students have benefited from the office's mentoring, scholarships, classes and seminars.

"In the sciences we're apprentices that go through apprenticeship after apprenticeship," said Bayliss, who came to SF State in 1975. "Science is the product of generations of scientists passing on what they came to know and how they came to know it. You get a tremendous reward watching somebody with potential and talent rise above their history."

The SEO has yielded significant results including higher retention and academic achievement of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. From 1984 to 2003, only one minority undergraduate f
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Contact: Michael Bruntz
mbruntz@sfsu.edu
415-338-1743
San Francisco State University
Source:Eurekalert

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