Cal Poly SLO’s Bergen makes it a dozen – at least – Presidential Awards for Excellence in teaching/mentoring for CSU

Biology is about growth, development, metabolism, ecology and – for Anne Marie Bergen – making sure schoolchildren “get it.”

Long ago Bergen earned a biology degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (1985) and a teaching credential from CSU Stanislaus (1988). Last fall, she returned to Cal Poly to serve as its Teacher in Residence in biology.

In the 22 years between, she was in Oakdale, east of Modesto, doing the kind of science teaching that earns the attention of the president. Yes: THE president.

Bergen’s on her way to the White House very soon to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to honor a single teacher from each state.

For more about Bergen, her background and her visit with Barack Obama, follow these links:

If she needs directions to the White House, Bergen can check with one of the nine CSU faculty members or two programs honored previously with a similar honor, also administered by the NSF: the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). It cites those who excel at enhancing the participation of underrepresented groups in all levels of science education.

For names, photos and descriptions of the CSU’s PAESMEM honorees, click here:

For detailed profiles of recent CSU recipients of this White House honor, follow these links:

Prior to Bergen, at least one other CSU alumnus in a K-12 classroom has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching: Jeff Self, a Humboldt graduate taught at Washington School in Eureka when he was honored in 1991.

If you know of other CSU faculty or alumni to receive these awards, please let us know via a comment below or via an email to

For more about the CSU’s systemwide efforts to help California meet its need for qualified math and science teachers, visit the Math and Science Teacher Initiative.

— Sean Kearns