United States president Barack Obama recently conferred on a US-based Filipino engineering professor a US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco reported that Obama conferred the award on Dr. Amelito Enriquez and eight other recipients in Washington D.C.
Enriquez graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1984 with a degree in Geodetic Engineering.
He went to the United States in 1987 where he continued his studies, earning an M.S. in Geodetic Science at the Ohio State University and a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California Irvine.
Enriquez has been a Professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Cañada College for 17 years.
"Dr. Enriquez, who was nominated by his students and colleagues at the Cañada College, is credited with helping develop several programs that help students from underrepresented communities pursue degrees in science, math and engineering," the Consulate General said.
A news release of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Enriquez's programs include The Math Jam, a two-week intensive program and the Summer Engineering Institute, in cooperation with the San Francisco State University.
Enriquez was also credited for a 10-week internship program for engineering students funded by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Quoting the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Consulate General said the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring is awarded by the President to individuals and organizations in recognition of the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering.
"Dr. Enriquez has been an exceptional student since his elementary days in Novaliches, Quezon City," the Consulate General said.
At a reception in his honor last Dec. 15 at Cañada College in Redwood City, California, Enriquez said he shared the award with the entire Cañada College faculty, staff and students.
"He reiterated his love for teaching and encouraging students to pursue careers in engineering," the Consulate General said.
In recognition of his achievement, Dr. Enriquez received certificates from California State and Redwood City officials and legislators as well as a commendation from the Consulate General.
He was also invited to participate in the Consulate's program of partnering with the Filipino American scientists, engineers and techno-professionals in the Bay Area who are giving back to the Philippines by improving science, engineering and technology education for kababayans back home.