Miklós Bóna, associate professor of mathematics, and Robin West, professor of psychology, have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Distinguished Mentors in honor of their excellence in guiding undergraduate life science researchers.

Two CLAS Faculty Named HHMI Distinguished Mentors

Miklós Bóna, associate professor of mathematics, and Robin West, professor of psychology, have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Distinguished Mentors in honor of their excellence in guiding undergraduate life science researchers.  They have each been awarded $10,000 to serve a two-year term.

Bóna and West were two of six UF faculty named HHMI Distinguished Mentors on December 7 and are the first such awardees from the mathematics and psychology departments. Other campus winners this year include Karen Koch, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Hartmut Derendorf, College of Pharmacy; Rob McKenna, College of Medicine; and David Reed, Florida Museum of Natural History.

“The selection committee noted that Dr. Bóna’s undergraduate mentoring in mathematics showed excellence in an area of national need, while Dr. West mentored large numbers of undergraduates including a career-long commitment to minority and first generation college students,” said Randy Duran, chemistry professor and director of the UF HHMI program.

Bolstered by a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), more than 50 UF academic departments in 10 colleges have joined hands in an ambitious effort to connect early undergraduates with outstanding research faculty, starting with UF’s own student body.  This initiative on UF’s campus is known as Science for Life, which began in summer 2006.

The mission of the Science for Life program is "to strengthen and transform undergraduate research and interdisciplinary laboratory education in the life sciences" at the University of Florida and partner institutions.  Administered through the campus-wide UF Honors Program and Office of the Provost, its goal is to enhance early undergraduate research, faculty recognition and opportunities, and transform laboratory teaching in the life sciences.  The HHMI Distinguished Mentor awards competitions are chaired by Pam Soltis, a curator in the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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Buffy Lockette, Editor, CLAS
352-846-2032

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