President Charles M. Vest has been awarded the Reginald H. Jones Distinguished Service Award from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) in recognition of his leadership "in the effort to create a diverse corps of world-class engineers and scientists."
Vest will donate the $10,000 prize for a charity of the winner's choice to the Wesley L. Harris Scholarship Fund for MITE2S (Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science). This MIT summer program since 1974 has prepared 1,343 minority high school students for engineering, management and science programs at colleges and universities, including 378 students at MIT.
MITE2S helps increase the diversity of students entering engineering and science in the United States, promotes better preparation for university life, both academically and socially, and gives MIT another means of reaching potential students for its undergraduate program.
"Charles Vest has been a leader in engineering education throughout his career," said NACME president and CEO John Brooks Slaughter. "Largely due to his vision and guidance, MIT is not only consistently ranked among the best engineering institutions in the country, but also among the top producers of minority and women engineers. He is a model leader of a model institution."
The award was endowed by the GE Fund and named for the former GE chairman, who also served as NACME's first chairman.
Since 1974, NACME has provided leadership and support for the national effort to increase the representation of successful African-American, Native Indian and Latino women and men in careers based in engineering and technology, math and science. A leading source of data and analysis on minority achievement in technical fields, NACME is widely known as the nation's largest private source of scholarships for minorities in engineering.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 2003.