Excellence in biotech education awarded at industry convention

BioGENEius past winner, mentor and top biotech school honored

WASHINGTON--()--The Biotechnology Institute recognizes that its important constituencies aren’t just students that will be the future leaders of biotechnology, like the BioGENEius Challenge participants, but also the teachers, mentors and learning ecosystems that shape their education, and with them, their future and the future of biotechnology.

Implemented this year, the Biotechnology Institute offers additional award opportunities for those who are expanding our collective horizons by inspiring the next generation of biotechnology leaders:

  • The BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award honoring past finalists with a track record of outstanding accomplishments
  • The BioGENEius Mentor Award honoring a STEM teacher or other significant influencer in the participating communities that serve the BioGENEius program
  • The BioSTEM Leader Award honoring an outstanding K-12 school for their promotion and support of the BioGENEius program

This year, the BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award, honoring past finalists with a pioneering spirit and determination to use biotechnology make a difference in our lives was presented to Tess Michaels. A recent graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the Life Sciences & Management Program, Tess is also Founder and CEO of SOCEANA, Inc., a social impact company driving corporate volunteerism. Tess, an International BioGENEius Challenge Fourth Place Winner in 2009, exemplifies our “next gen” innovation potential already being realized. Already recognized by the UN Foundation as one of the “Top 10 Global women to Watch”, Tess has set a truly high bar for future BioGENEius finalists.

The BioGENEius Mentor Award recognizes STEM teachers and members of the BioGENEius community for their impact on future growth of the biotechnology industry. No one was more exemplary than this year’s awardee, Donna Leonardi from Bergen County Academy in New Jersey. Donna has a long established track record of mentoring students – having fielded some 50 finalists in prestigious national and international competitions such as the INTEL STS and ISEF competitions, Siemens, Google and our own International BioGENEius Challenge – and including recognition at the White House Science Fair. Her peers and former students describe her as “inspiring,” “challenging,” “deeply sensitive” and “always encouraging”…we describe her simply as “invaluable”.

The Institute’s newly created, BioSTEM Leader Award, honors outstanding K-12 schools for supporting the biotech learning and the BioGENEius community through their “bio” STEM program. This year the Institute recognized McKinley Technology High School (MTHS), in Washington D.C. for the excellence of its STEM education programs and the dedication of its administration to make McKinley one of the highest performing schools in the nation. McKinley continues its highly competitive STEM programs as a National Blue Ribbons School, the highest award that can be bestowed on a learning community in the U.S. and was recognized as a National Academy Foundation Model School for its programs in Biotechnology Information Technology and Engineering. In 2015, MTHS was the site of a first-of-a-kind GMO Summit in collaboration with the EPA, USDA, FDA, agricultural biotechnology industry representatives and Global Kids. Through programs and unique experience such as these, McKinley truly creates an environment for students to thrive.

“The success of today’s STEM students, the future leaders of the biotechnology industry, rests on our ability to inspire, engage and promote their desire to realize the solutions that science can offer,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute. “This year’s awardees are exceptional and we were delighted to honor them earlier this month at BioGENEius during the BIO International Convention.”

The BioGENEius Challenges and Leadership Awards are organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Generous support from sponsors include the Global Healthcare Challenge sponsor Johnson & Johnson Innovation. For additional information about the 2015 Leadership Awardees, visit www.biotechinstitute.org.

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems. For more information, visit www.biotechinstitute.org.

Contacts

Biotechnology Institute
Janelle K Curtis, 202-312-9266
jcurtis@biotechinstitute.org

Release Summary

This year, the BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award, honoring past finalists with a pioneering spirit and determination to use biotechnology make a difference in our lives was presented to Tess Michaels

Contacts

Biotechnology Institute
Janelle K Curtis, 202-312-9266
jcurtis@biotechinstitute.org