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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Presidential Stony Brook Professor Receives Presidential Award

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Stony Brook’s own David Bynum, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biology, recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. This distinction, which is offered to only 10 individuals in the country, is given to those who achieve remarkable results in increasing the participation of minorities, women and disabled students in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Dr. Bynum is the originator and Director of the Long Island Group Advancing Science Education (LIGASE), a program designed to develop educational opportunities for elementary, secondary, undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students to participate in laboratory research activities in Stony brook.

    LIGASE, which was formally created in 1995, has a self-proclaimed goal to ‘Offer inquiry-based biology activities for students from elementary through graduate school.,’ as well as ‘Include all students who wish to learn by making strong efforts to attract women and underrepresented students.’

    ‘This Presidential Award will make available even more opportunities to develop programs that benefit Long Island and New York students,’ Bynum said. ‘This resonates with the mission of the University, the needs of the schools, and the provisions of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act.’

    Dr. Bynum, who taught undergraduate courses for 15 years and won the Stony Brook President’s and Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching, has encouraged a broad variety of students to participate in scientific research through Ligase’s activities, which include the Biology Participation in Research and Education Program, Biotechnology Summer Camp, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) High School Summer Scholar Program, undergraduate fellowships offered through HHMI, the Masters Degree Program for Biology Teachers and other programs.

    ‘Working at the University, I see potential to productively involve students in basic research,’ said Bynum, who received his doctorate from Dartmouth in Cell Biology. ‘We can make opportunities available to young people that were not made before.’

    Dr. Bynum has received support for his efforts through external funding, securing over nine million dollars through the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    ‘I applaud SUNY Stony Brook Professor Bynum for receiving the 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring,’ said SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King. ‘The award recognizes Professor Bynum’s excellence in teaching science, math and engineering to middle, high school and undergraduate students.’

    ‘I attribute our success to the people that I work with, the students we create programs for and the University that is supportive of our activities,’ said Dr. Bynum, citing the staff members of LIGASE who helped to establish and run the organization. ‘People like Joan Kiely and Judy Nimmo.’ Other members of LIGASE include Janet Anderson, Ph.D., Lisa Cadena, M.A.T., Deborah Spikes and Zisana Zachar, Ph.D.

    As for future plans for LIGASE, Dr. Bynum is trying to develop new undergraduate courses at the Stony Brook University, including Immunology, Bioethics and Computational Biology. He is attempting to make new fellowships available to teachers going into high-need districts, and trying to get more detailed interaction with Long Island and New York schools.

    ‘We’re always looking for new opportunities,’ he said.

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