Tuskegee University STEM leader receives Highest U.S. Award for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

March 15, 2022

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing


dr Tuskegee University faculty member Mohammed Qazi was honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), the nation’s highest honor recognizing the dedication, hard work, and important role played by America’s mentors the support features learners from underrepresented communities who will be future STEM professionals, including climate scientists, mathematicians, innovators, space explorers and engineers.

“I view mentoring as a bilateral, mutually beneficial partnership between everyone involved in the mentoring process, be it in the context of teaching, research or outreach,” said Mohammed Qazi. “This award is a testament to the commitment of many stakeholders to work together and use the powerful tool of mentoring to address the most complex issues in expanding STEM participation.”

Qazi began teaching mathematics in Tuskegee in 2000 after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). As associate dean for research and outreach at the College of Arts and Sciences at Tuskegee, one of his responsibilities is mentoring college faculty members to advance their research portfolios. Qazi’s STEM mentoring programs provide opportunities for individuals from underrepresented communities at many levels, including K-12, undergraduate, graduate and professorial, to gain in-depth STEM experiences and foster their persistence and success in these fields.

Qazi says he is very proud of the broad alliances of school districts, post-secondary institutions and other stakeholders he has forged to address deep and ongoing issues in expanding STEM participation and seek to do so at scale. His efforts are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, where he holds leadership roles.

“We are delighted that Dr. Qazi is recognized by President Biden for his lifelong efforts to mentor underrepresented minority students at Tuskegee University, as well as students and educators across the country through his STEM efforts,” said College of Arts and Dean of Sciences Dr. Channa Prakash. “This award is also a recognition of the excellence and dedication of Tuskegee University”


In a White House statement, President Joe Biden said he appreciates the inspiration America’s teachers and mentors provide every day in support of the next generation of STEM professionals. “The commitment these individuals and organizations have shown to preparing students for careers in STEM fields at a difficult time for teachers, students and families plays a huge role in American innovation and competitiveness. The work of teachers and mentors ensures that our nation’s children — for themselves and for all of us — have a world of opportunity to unlock,” Biden said.

PAESMEM recognizes mentors for their efforts to inspire and encourage individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM, and for their efforts to ensure that all Americans, regardless of gender, race, resource or geography, have full participation in science, math and technology be able.

Qazi’s recognition underscores the commitment to fostering the success of traditionally underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through mentoring.

Qazi has also co-authored journal articles focused on STEM participation and mentoring. In addition, as a mathematician, Qazi maintains his productivity in his main area of ​​scientific research (approximation theory). He completed his BS and MS in Mathematics at the Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the École Polytechnique de Montréal. Qazi received the 2012 Tuskegee University Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of his mentoring initiatives and research activities.

Since 1995, PAESMEM has recognized the hard work and dedicated mentors who expand participation in STEM pathways. Since then, more than 300 individuals and organizations have been recognized for exemplary service. The awardees are leaders in national efforts to fully develop the country’s human resources in STEM fields. For more information and a list of award winners, see PAESMEM.net.

© 2022 Tuskegee University

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