Rice University Professor and National Medal of Science recipient Richard Tapia to be celebrated for 50 years of service at upcoming event on April 3 | Rice News | News and Media Relations

University Professor Richard Tapia will be honored for his five decades of service to Rice University on April 3 at the Faculty Club. Tapia is a renowned national leader in preparing women and underrepresented minorities for advanced degrees in science, engineering, and mathematics. During his distinguished career, he has received numerous accolades, including the Presidential Award for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 1996 and the National Medal of Science in 2011, making him the first Hispanic to receive this prestigious award. In addition to his awards, Tapia has achieved significant milestones in his career. In 1992, he became the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the National Science Board in 1996, where he served until 2002. Tapia also chaired the National Research Council’s Board on Higher Education and the Workforce from 2001-04. At Rice, Tapia has held several key roles, including director of the Rice Graduate Education for Minorities and Empowering Leadership Alliance Programs, associate director of graduate studies in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and director of the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education.

Throughout his career, Tapia has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. He created the Tapia Camps at Rice University, a series of residential STEM camps that provide rising eighth-12th graders with an opportunity to experience life as a Rice student for a week while completing STEM projects and presentations. These camps have won awards and have been instrumental in guiding students towards futures in STEM fields. Media interested in covering this event celebrating Richard Tapia’s contributions to Rice University can contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice University for more information.

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