On March 24, it was announced that University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy had been named to US President Joe Biden’s committee on the National Medal of Science.
The National Medal of Science Committee is made up of sixteen members who award the nation’s highest scientific honor. The award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the fields of engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry, behavioral and social sciences, and physics.
The National Medal of Science was created in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy and was first awarded to Theodore Von Karman for his research in jet propulsion. The medal has since been awarded to 506 scientists and researchers.
Ferrini-Mundy’s appointment to the committee was applauded by Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King.
“While at the University of Maine, Dr. Ferrini-Mundy worked to solidify the school as a world leader in education and research, and she helped train a new generation of Maine scientists. “, Collins and King announced in a joint statement. Press release.
They then congratulated Ferrini-Mundy for the achievement.
“We congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition, and we know that she will be a tremendous asset to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.” Collins and King said in their statement.
UMaine also recently received accreditation as an R1 research university under the leadership of Ferrini-Mundy, making UMaine the only institution in Maine to receive this level of recognition. UMaine received accreditation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education earlier this year, a prestigious accreditation reserved only for the nation’s top performing research universities. Only 146 universities out of approximately 4,000 post-secondary institutions share this accreditation.
Ferrini-Mundy’s leadership and dedication to the importance of scientific research and STEM education has been nationally recognized and his appointment to Biden’s Committee on the National Medal of Science is testament to this dedication.
“Being nominated by President Biden to serve on the Presidential Committee for the National Medal of Science is a distinct honor,” said Speaker Ferrini-Mundy. “Recognition of the importance, value and contributions of science, in all its forms, reminds us of the difference it makes in our lives and in society. The same goes for the arts and humanities. Together, they are essential to who we are and what we can become, and it is important to recognize and appreciate the people who move them forward.
The Presidential Committee on the National Medal of Science was disbanded after Barack Obama’s presidency, but is returning this year. The committee will receive applications, and deliberate on their selections for the award before seeking confirmation from President Biden on their selections. A nominee’s nomination is effective for three years, and the award is generally given to a maximum of twenty nominees per awards season.