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ANSEP leader earns national award for education reform efforts

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Dr. Herb (I?isaurri) Schroeder, founder and executive director of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program, has been selected to receive the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering 2009 Founder’s Award, also known as the Reginald H. Jones Award. The award will be presented at NACME’s 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration in New York City Sept. 29.

NACME, established in 1974, created the Founder’s Award to recognize individuals who showed exemplary commitment and service in support of NACME’s mission. The award comes with a $10,000 gift to be given to a nonprofit of Schroeder’s choice.

This year’s awards dinner theme is “Changing Lives, Changing America” to highlight “NACME’s dual role of changing lives through its involvement in K-12 and higher education, and its ability to change America through its leadership and policy advocacy to produce a graduating engineering class that looks like America,” states the organization’s Web site.

Schroeder started ANSEP in 1995 with one engineering student. ANSEP is a longitudinal program that works with students from the time they’re sophomores in high school all the way into graduate school. It’s designed to increase university recruitment and retention rates through hands-on high school outreach initiatives, rigorous summer bridging programs, focused academic learning communities, organized student cohorts, networks of peer and professional mentors, community-based learning, professional internships, undergraduate research projects and graduate school programs.

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In 2001, Schroeder led the formation of the Pacific Alliance with the goal of replicating ANSEP at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Hawai’i Manoa and the University of Washington. The Alliance was recently expanded to include South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Idaho and University of North Dakota. ANSEP and the Pacific Alliance are national models for recruitment and retention programs.

In addition to other university leaders from across the U.S., Schroeder will have the opportunity to address the NACME supporters who come to the awards dinner. This includes several dozen Fortune 500 company executives, as well as the president of the National Academy of Engineering.