A SOARS pacesetter
UCARs Tom Windham has won a Boulder Daily Camera Pacesetter Award for his landmark work on the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research program.
Under Toms direction, SOARS provides research opportunities to promising undergraduates across the country (including Puerto Rico) who come from African American, Latino, Native American, or other traditionally underserved communities. The high point of the year-round activities comes each summer, when the program provides ten-week paid internships to about two dozen students, enabling them to conduct research projects with scientists at NCAR and other agencies. About 70 volunteers from UCAR and other science institutions work with SOARS staff to provide mentoring support on scientific research, scientific writing, leadership, and community life issues. Tom implemented the program in 1996, and he has placed a steady emphasis on its acclaimed mentoring component.
SOARS has garnered national attention, receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring in 2001. SOARS protégés give the program rave reviews, and many have gone on to earn higher degrees.
I am honored to participate in this celebrated effort to help bright, hard-working protégés develop careers as scientists, Tom says. Having received this award is a strong reminder to me, my colleagues, our sponsors, and the students of the value that Boulder places on our work.
Tom has a doctorate in psychology from CU, and he has worked with young people in many capacities. He worked as the director for Pupil Services and Dropout Prevention in the Boulder Valley School District and also directed clinical services for the Alternative Homes for Youth in Golden. He is a past president of the Boulder Valley School Board.
Each year, the Daily Camera gives out Pacesetter Awards in eight categories to community leaders. Tom won for the science, medicine, and health category.
Pacesetters is the Cameras way of celebrating the sense of community that arises from the good will of our citizens, says Daily Camera editor and publisher Colleen Conant.