Thomas Martin, For The Miami Student

Miami University alumnus Juan Gilbert has been awarded with the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

This award, presented by President Barack Obama, is given to individuals who represent a strong commitment to the mentoring of students in fields such as science and engineering.

In 1987, Gilbert arrived at Miami and in 1991 he received his bachelor’s degree in systems analysis. Gilbert described systems analysis as a major which analyzed systems of people and machines using operations research. Since then, Gilbert has become the chair of the Human Centered Computing Division at Clemson University.

Gilbert looks back at his time at Miami as very exciting.

“I was able to make lifetime friends and advance my career,” Gilbert said. “What I find interesting is that everyone that graduated with me from Miami is now doing what they wanted to do. Their degrees allowed them to be successful.”

Gilbert acknowledged that Miami granted him the experience and the competiveness to excel in the work force.

“All my life I was provided with great mentors, and this is what made me want to provide the same level of mentorship which allowed me to be awarded with this honor,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert was given the Presidential Award of Excellence by President Obama at a White House ceremony Dec. 12.

“I’m still speechless,” he said.

Among the people who are proud of Gilbert’s accomplishments is Miami President David Hodge.

“I often say that the best measure of a university is the quality of the lives led by our alumni,” Hodge said. “This award recognizes great achievement and contributions to others. In doing so, it underscores [Miami’s] core values.”

Hodge sees Gilbert’s accomplishments as great. Nothing matters more to Miami than preparing the students for success, he said.

Sophomore Jenna Forester agrees this award doesn’t just look good for Gilbert, but the university as well.

“This shows the high standards of Miami academics and helps to counter many of the stereotypes that we are more of a social school,” Forester said. “We are known for our business school so I think that because his award was for excellence in science, it shows the breadth of an MU education.”

Hodge plans to present Gilbert the alumni Bishop Award Feb. 15 on Miami’s Middletown campus. This award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated a lifetime of service to others.

Along with this award ceremony, Gilbert will visit Miami’s Hamilton Campus and give a speech at 7 p.m. Feb. 14.