Lawrence Livermore Lab physicist to receive Presidential Award For Excellence

July 14, 2009

Kennedy Reed (Download Image)

Lawrence Livermore Lab physicist to receive Presidential Award For Excellence

Kennedy Reed, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been named by President Obama as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring.

Reed is a theoretical physicist at the Laboratory, working in research on atomic collisions in high temperature plasmas. He has been a leader in national efforts to increase opportunities for minority students and professionals in the sciences, and has been instrumental in the development of programs that have had national impact.

Reed initiated and directed the Laboratory's Research Collaborations Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCUs and MIs) - an innovative program that links Laboratory scientists with professors and students in forefront research that benefits the Laboratory and universities. This program has strengthened the research and training capabilities at universities and has been very successful in encouraging student participants to pursue advanced degrees in science disciplines.

Reed also played a principal role in establishing the National Physical Science Consortium - a national coalition of corporations, national laboratories and universities that provide graduate fellowships for women and minorities in the physical sciences.

Reed has been widely honored for his work. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society. He was the 2003 recipient of the John Wheatley Award that cited his contributions to physics research and education in Africa. The California Section of the American Physical Society named an award in honor of Reed, and annually presents the Kennedy Reed Award for Best Theoretical Research by graduate students and/or post-doctoral researchers.

Reed holds a bachelor's of science degree at Monmouth College in Illinois, and a doctorate in physics at the University of Nebraska.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring is awarded to individuals or organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering and who belong to minorities that are underrepresented in those fields.

The award will be presented in a ceremony at the White House, and includes a grant of $10,000 to advance the recipient's mentoring efforts.

"There is no higher calling than furthering the educational advancement of our nation's young people and encouraging and inspiring our next generation of leaders," President Obama said. "These awards represent a heartfelt salute of appreciation to a remarkable group of individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to helping others and in doing so have helped us all."