Paul Shin Award

PaulShin_365x300Each year an individual or individuals will be selected to receive the Paul Shin Award in recognition of dedication to communicating science to the public, whether in person, in print or online, or a combination.

Award Criteria:

  • The award recognizes “unsung heroes” who have demonstrated commitment and passion in work related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education/outreach, STEM equity/inclusion, and/or scientific literacy. Priority will be given to individuals that have not received previous awards for their related activities.
  • COPUS is particularly keen to recognize individuals for whom science communications may not be part of an everyday job, but who nevertheless give their time and energy to enhancing the public understanding of science. Priority will be given to individuals that match this criteria.
  • Individuals need not be affiliated with an institution and are selected from outside the current COPUS membership.
  • The awardee should carry out their activities consistent with “The COPUS Ideals” as developed by Natalie Kuldell and David Burns.
  • The awardee should be able to attend a COPUS Unconference to receive the award. (Travel and unconference costs are covered as part of the award.)

The 2020 nomination form will be available in the late Spring. Email [email protected] if you have questions.

Previous Awardees:

2019 – Kaberi Kar Gupta
2018 – Marguerite Matthews
2017 – Russell Ledet
2015 – Stephanie Gillin, Whisper Camel-Means, and Jessie Herbert
2014 – Amy Vashlishan Murray
2013 – Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer
2012 – Bill Gomez

About Paul Shin:
Paul received his B.A. in Chemistry at the University of California at Santa Cruz and then went on to earn a Ph.D. at Colorado State University. He did many things in his career, but before his death in 2010, he was a Chemical Instrumentation Manager and Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Northridge. He maintained the departmental instrumentation and trained students and faculty to use the chemical instrumentation as needed, as well as teaching Principles of Chemistry. Paul also served as a Specialist Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (HazMat Unit) and received the 2008 Reserve Officer of the Year award from the Emergency Services Division of the LAPD.

Paul’s goal was to promote scientific literacy in two ways: through chemical education and combating the proliferation of pseudo-science. “As a chemical educator since 1983, I have been teaching in one way or another, from high school to post-doctoral levels, from public presentations to business/industrial workplaces… The most rewarding aspect of teaching is seeing students succeed when they thought they couldn’t!”

COPUS created the Paul Shin Award to honor Paul’s memory and contributions.

“Paul was a leader, but the kind of leader who led by his actions rather than by persuasion. He showed people how rewarding, exciting, and personally satisfying it can be to follow your passions. He accepted people with openness and trust and he lived for each moment.”
— Sheri Potter

“He had an energy, passion, and determination to make a difference in the world. This was a man who expected nothing in return for his support. His support and enthusiasm will live on forever. And, as many people have already pointed out, we are all better people for having known Paul Shin.”
— Darlene Cavalier

“Paul always brought a tremendous energy with him. He was passionate about the work we did together, but always so personable too. I can’t think of a conversation with Paul that wasn’t punctuated with laughter, or a scheme that we cooked up together that wasn’t fueled by a special glint in his eye.”
— Ben Wiehe

“He was super motivated, very creative, and passionate about his work with COPUS and I know the science and science education communities will miss his influence.”
— Jennifer Collins

“What can you say about a guy who teaches science to cops? Perhaps that it reflects his unique creativity, his passion, and his energetic dedication to the public understanding of science. He will long be an inspiration to all of us at COPUS.”
— Judy Scotchmoor

“Paul was smart, dedicated, and passionately committed to communicating science to non-scientists. It was fun to share our many interests, such as Tolkien books, Brit humor and Star Trek. He’s left us with memories and inspiration to continue our work. Thank you Paul. Boldly go, my friend.”
— Roger Harris