Looking Back and Ahead at Texas State NSF CAREER Awards
Every well-traveled path starts with a pathfinder, whether it’s iconic west-bound Route 66 or Texas State’s growing cohort of National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award winners. The CAREER Award is NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who demonstrate potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Each year NSF selects nominees for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from among the most meritorious recent CAREER awardees.
Before Texas State had a strategic plan for research that outlined specific tactics for recruiting and supporting world class researchers, one individual blazed the trail that many now follow. Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, professor of physics, was Texas State's first CAREER award winner back in the early 1990s. A long period of time elapsed before the next Texas State faculty member won the distinction. But since the early 2000s Texas State has laid claim to 16 CAREER awards and one PECASE, awarded in 2017 to Dr. Oleg Komogortsev, professor of computer science. The PECASE award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.