IMG_0104Nearly every North Carolina politician, school administrator and community leader has at some point expressed a concern for the plight of science and math education in our state. Everyone sees the need; everybody wants “something done.” Today we honor an active research scientist who for sixteen years has been doing that something---training students at all levels; training their teachers; and coordinating the construction of one of the Internet’s most widely-used computational science resources for education.

The recipient of the NCSLA Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award received his B.S. in physics from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Washington University in St. Louis, undertaking both pre and postdoctoral work at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. In 2005, Wofford College bestowed an honorary doctorate in recognition of his role in the development of computational science education.

He is the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit research and education organization the Shodor Education Foundation, dedicated to the advancement of science and mathematics education, specifically through the use of computer modeling and simulation. Starting with a single intern, this organization has grown to a staff of 15 full-time and 3 part-time scientists and educators, supporting 30 area high school and college interns, and establishing an apprenticeship training program for high school students. In addition, the recipient is a frequent presenter and consultant on the national and international level at numerous science venues.

In 2010, the Durham Chamber of Commerce recognized the Executive Director and Shodor with the Business Excellence Award for Non-Profit. The recipient's 16 years of dedication to the scientific education to the youth of North Carolina, acknowledged by numerous awards and citations both locally and nationally, are truly worthy of recognition by the North Carolina Science Leadership Association through the awarding of the 2011 Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award. It is my distinct honor to recognize Dr. Robert M. Panoff with this award.