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News Release

President Obama to Nominate Alumna to Education Foundation

WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2010) - Divinity alumna Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd will be nominated by President Barack Obama to the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Boyd, an engineer and 2007 recipient of a master’s of divinity degree from the Howard University School of Divinity, was among several national appointments the president announced Monday, Jan. 4.

"I am grateful that these fine individuals have chosen to serve in my administration,” Obama said. “They will bring a depth of experience and valued perspective to their roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awards scholarships to high-achieving college students seeking careers in science, engineering and mathematics. It was created in 1986 to honor the late U.S. senator from Arizona.

Boyd serves as the executive assistant to the chief of staff at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Institution in Maryland and is chair of the institution’s Diversity Leadership Council.

A Montgomery, Ala., native, Boyd graduated summa cum laude from Alabama State in 1977 with a major in mathematics and minors in physics and music.

Her many accomplishments include being the first African-American to ever earn a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University, receiving the 1996 Black Engineer of the Year Public Service Award and receiving Congressional citations and recognition by U.S. Black Engineer magazine as one of the nation's "Most Distinguished Black College and University Graduates."

She is also recognized as a prominent advocate for women's equality and for the recruitment of African-Americans into science and engineering.

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