Evergreen Faculty Member Receives Highest U.S. Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers


Carri LeRoy, a faculty member at The Evergreen State College, will receive a 2021 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), the highest honor in the nation for U.S. science and mathematics teachers. The award ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 11 on YouTube.

Established in 1995, the PAESMEM “recognizes the critical roles mentors play outside the traditional classroom in the academic and professional development of the future STEM workforce.”

Dr. LeRoy began teaching at Evergreen in 2005, where she has taught a diverse range of subjects including biology, zoology, natural resource management, mathematics, and ecology.

“This award is a powerful validation of how the practices of providing real-world research experiences to undergraduate, K–12, and incarcerated students—groups that are often considered inexperienced and unqualified to collaborate on scientific research projects—can be transformative, empowering and contribute to scientific discovery,” said Dr. LeRoy.

She is especially passionate about getting undergraduate students involved in scientific research through programs such as Evergreen’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF). Since 2015, she has been doing active freshwater ecology research trips to Mount St. Helens with groups of students looking to gain valuable research experience as undergrads.

“I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this honor than Dr. LeRoy,” said Evergreen’s provost and vice president for academic affairs David McAvity. “She embodies Evergreen’s commitment to student-centered learning and integrates her teaching across multiple disciplines, weaving science, art and statistical analysis together—helping students see the interconnectedness of our world.”

As the co-director of the Sustainability in Prisons Project at Evergreen from 2011–2017, Dr. LeRoy “expanded science programming to all 12 Washington state prisons, changing the culture of prisons in Washington and spreading the model internationally.”

“We are all delighted to see Dr. LeRoy receive this recognition,” said Evergreen’s president Dr. John Carmichael. “She epitomizes the caring, mentoring relationships that Evergreen faculty have with students. It’s especially fitting that a student nominated Carri for this honor.”

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