Headlines

As reported by the New Britain Herald, January 5, 2010.

UConnís Laurencin Honored at White House

By Scott Whipple

FARMINGTON ó Today, Dr. Cato T. Laurencin will exchange a UConn sweatshirt with President Barack Obama for a prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence.

Laurencin, vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, is one of 22 science, math, and engineering mentors who are receiving an award during a White House ceremony.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, is awarded each year by the National Science Foundation to individuals and organizations. The award recognizes the crucial role mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering.

"There is no higher calling than furthering the educational advancement of our nationís young people and encouraging and inspiring our next generation of leaders," President Obama said in a prepared statement. "These awards represent a heartfelt salute of appreciation to a remarkable group of individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to helping others and in doing so have helped us all."

Laurencin has achieved national and international prominence as an orthopedic surgeon and chemical engineering expert.

He holds the health centerís Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Academic Medicine and is a professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He also holds an appointment in the School of Engineering as a professor of chemical, materials and biomolecular engineering.

A Fellow of the American Surgical Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Laurencin has been named to Americaís Top Doctors. At the same time, he has been named one of the 100 engineers of the modern era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and most recently received the Galletti Award from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering which cited his research in tissue engineering. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Laurencin said he is "humbled and honored" by the award. "Mentoring aspiring physicians, scientists, and engineers has been, and continues to be, one of the most gratifying aspects of my career," he said. "On behalf of the students I have had the privilege of knowing, I am delighted to receive this award."

He said he was also looking forward to a reunion with comedian Bill Cosby, an invited guest at the ceremony. Both Laurencin and Cosby attended the same high school in North Philadelphia.