The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has recognized Dr. Lynford L. Goddard of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the first recipient of the newly established AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.
The association commended Dr. Goddard "for exemplifying an early career scientist eager to share his excitement about science while simultaneously pursuing a competitive research career."
Dr. Goddard—who serves as Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois—designed and implemented the Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE) summer camp, which seeks to make the field of electrical engineering more accessible to high-school students. He also serves as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups at the University of Illinois.
GLEE camp organizers recruit female students from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds to experience electrical engineering through research facility tours, classroom instruction, and mentorship programs. The campers also work with Dr. Goddard and his graduate students on interactive and immersive activities that supplement the concepts covered in the program's curriculum.
Reflecting on his passion for public engagement, Dr. Goddard noted that he has always had an innate motivation to teach and interact with students. He learned from his experiences as a tutor in high school and college that "getting [students] excited was a driving force." Dr. Goddard said that he is inspired by his colleagues: "There are a lot of great people doing really good work in terms of education and outreach activities."
Dr. Goddard noted that departmental and institutional support has been a critical factor in his ability to pursue engagement opportunities. Commenting on the role of scientific community leaders in furthering outreach efforts, Dr. Andreas C. Cangellaris—Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois and Dr. Goddard's nominator for this award—said, "We consider our faculty's outreach and service activities as one of the key components of their contributions." Dr. Cangellaris stated that developing strong communication skills should be a focus of young faculty: "Assisting them and enabling them in their serving [as communicators] is the duty of every engineering department committed to leadership and excellence in research, education and service."
Dr. Goddard joined the University of Illinois in 2007. His academic research focuses on fabricating, characterizing, and modeling individual lasers and photonics-based sensors, instrumentation and integrated circuits, as well as developing new processing techniques and testing novel semiconductor materials and devices. Applications include hydrogen detection for fuel cells, optical spectrum analysis and low noise lasers for metrology and next generation fiber optic communication systems, and optical logic and memory for high speed data processing. He serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Photonics Journal and an Assistant Topical Editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B. He is author or co-author of over 70 publications and was awarded a 2008 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Dr. Goddard received his B.S. degree (with distinction) in math and physics, M.S. degree in electrical engineering, and Ph.D. degree in physics from Stanford University, in 1998, 2003, and 2005, respectively.
Established in 2010, the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science recognizes the achievements of individual early-career scientists and engineers who have demonstrated significant contributions to public engagement activities while simultaneously pursuing a research career.
The award will be presented at the 177th AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., which will take place 17-21 February 2011. The awards ceremony and reception will be held in the Grand Ballroom North, Washington Renaissance Downtown, on Saturday, 19 February at 6:00 p.m.
CONTACTS: Dr. Goddard can be reached at (217) 244-0799 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information regarding the AAAS award or additional background information, AAAS Senior Communications Officer Katharine Zambon can be reached at (202) 326-6434 or email@example.com.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine (www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org) and Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.
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