West Virginia University Health Sciences and Technology Academy’s founder and director, Ann Chester, Ph.D., has been awarded a President’s Award for Excellence in Science Math and Engineering Mentoring— the highest honor for mentoring in the nation. 

Chester is recognized for embodying excellence in mentoring underrepresented students and encouraging their significant achievement in science, math and engineering. Excellence Award recipients play a critical role for students outside of traditional classroom settings, shaping the next generation of students interested in STEM disciplines.

Chester, who serves as the assistant vice president for education partnerships at WVU’s Health Sciences Center, has a long commitment to bettering the lives of West Virginians through her mentorship work.

The WV Health Sciences and Technology Academy was initiated in 1994 as a campus/community partnership program to reach out to 9th-12th grade under-represented students around the state and support them towards college and professional school.

In addition, Chester leads the WV Health Careers Opportunity Program, which carries on the work of HSTA at the college level. She is also the founder and deputy director of the WVU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

“For some, mentorship might be a small piece of their work, but for Ann, it’s a calling,” Clay B. Marsh, M.D., WVU’s vice president and executive dean for health sciences, said. “The programing she’s established and the passion for STEM she’s ignited are testaments to her ability to see a gap in opportunities and find a solution.”

The award is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. More than 240 individuals and organizations have received the honor since the program’s 1996 inception.

For more information on Health Sciences at WVU, visit hsc.wvu.edu.