Spotlight: Ethio-American Mulatu Lemma, Math Professor at SSU, Receives Presidential Award for Excellence

Professor Mulatu Lemma taught mathematics at Savannah State University, a public historically Black university in Savannah, Georgia, for 25 years. He previously spent five years teaching and mentoring at Awash Junior College in Ethiopia. (Photo: SSU)

Savannah Tribune

Savannah State’s Mulatu Lemma Receives Presidential Award for Excellence

Mulatu Lemma, Ph.D., a mathematics professor at Savannah State University (SSU), is among 12 recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

The PAESMEM recognizes those who have made significant contributions to mentoring and thereby support the future productivity of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

The program was created to identify and recognize individuals and organizations that have contributed outstanding efforts in mentoring and have enhanced the participation of individuals (including persons with disabilities) who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in STEM disciplines and professions.

“This is a great honor for Dr. Lemma,” said Kimberly Ballard-Washington, SSU interim president. “I congratulate him on this achievement and appreciate his years of service dedicated to preparing Savannah State’s students for careers in STEM. Dr. Lemma and other faculty who create mentoring opportunities for Savannah State’s students help to provide a nurturing educational environment at SSU.”

Lemma has taught mathematics at SSU for 25 years. He previously spent five years teaching and mentoring at Awash Junior College in Ethiopia.

His career has been dedicated to increasing the number of minorities in mathematics and other STEM fields using the power of mentoring. He has exhibited an abiding commitment to developing and nurturing “mathematically-inclined” minority students through mentoring activities in mathematics so that they gain a solid foundation to help them succeed in schools and in their careers. His objective, through a belief in active mentoring programs, is to produce a new generation of students highly skilled in mathematics.

Lemma is highly involved in mentoring students to help them to build self-confidence, self- esteem, and research experience. He has mentored students who range in age from 12 to 63.

Each Presidential Awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Awardees are honored during a ceremony, which takes place in Washington, D.C.


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