NACME BLOG

The NACME 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

 

We are now several weeks past NACME’s 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration, and I am still delighted by the support we received and thrilled by the phenomenal surprise that was announced during the awards portion of the evening.


As always, NACME takes time during its anniversary celebrations to honor those outstanding individuals and corporations that have been instrumental in helping NACME continue to pursue its mission and vision. The honorees this year were: Dr. John Brooks Slaughter, former President and CEO of NACME and Professor of Education and Engineering at the University of Southern California, who received the Reginald H. Jones Distinguished Service Award; Sandra Begay-Campbell, Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, who received the Alumni Circle Award; the Hewlett-Packard Company, which received the Corporate Citizenship Award; and Dr. Diana Natalicio, President of the University of Texas at El Paso, who received the Diversity Vision Award. Dr. Natalicio also served on the NACME Board of Directors from 1993 to 2012; and as chairman of the NACME Governance Committee from 2008 to 2012.


Through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and educational institutions, NACME raised more than $1 million leading into the anniversary celebration. These funds will be used to support NACME’s scholarships and programs. The real surprise during event, however, was announced at the end of HP’s acceptance speech, when Sue Barsamian, Senior Vice President at HP, and Vice Chairman of NACME Board of Directors; and John Hinshaw, Executive Vice President at HP, surprised the room of over 500 attendees by announcing that NACME would be receiving an additional gift of $50,000 that will be used to help attract more underrepresented minority students to computer science. HP then challenged NACME’s other supporters in attendance to match this generous gift. I was equally delighted when fellow NACME Board Company, PenFed, answered the call with a $10,000 matching gift.


NACME’s milestone celebration also served as a very special venue for me to announce the first recipient of The Pressley and Mauise Vinson McPhail/NACME Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering. Earlier this year, my wife, daughter, and I established scholarship as a tribute to my parents who were taken from us by cancer and cardiovascular disease. The first recipient, Khadidiatou (Khady) Guiro, attended our celebration and was presented with the scholarship check for $5,000. Ms. Guiro is a biomedical engineering doctoral candidate at Rutgers University School of Medicine and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, as well as an Alfred P. Sloan Minority Ph.D. Fellow. Ms. Guiro’s broad research goal is to develop successful therapeutic strategies for a range of diseases by closing the gap between engineering and molecular biology. She is currently studying breast cancer dormancy, a primary factor in disease recurrence, by using tissue engineering to closely observe the mechanisms of cell dormancy following cancer treatments. I am hopeful that Ms. Guiro’s contributions to cancer research will completely alter the way this horrible disease is treated.


I always come away from our anniversary celebrations feeling inspired, but this year as I walked away feeling elated. I am thankful for all those who contributed and for those who attended the 40th anniversary celebration, particularly the NACME Scholars and Alumni; we are all immensely proud of you and your accomplishments. All of NACME’s staff and supporters know that you will carry us well beyond the next 40 years