Dr. Mary Lowe Good of Little Rock, who helped establish the new College of Information Science and Systems Engineering at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is now serving as its interim dean, is the winner of the $250,000 Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment.
Good, who is also the new president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the first Arkansan and first woman to win the award. She has enjoyed distinguished careers in academia, industry and government, according to the award announcement, each driven by a single vision: Throughout her professional life, she has sought to harness advances in scientific knowledge to grow our economy, raise living standards, and generate resources with which to build a safer, cleaner, more just society.
With a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Arkansas, Good taught for more than 25 years before joining the private sector in 1980 where she eventually became senior vice president for technology with AlliedSignal.
She was the first woman to head the National Science Board, and she has served in advisory roles to four consecutive presidents, and for four years was Undersecretary of Technology at the Department of Commerce.
There she helped develop public-private research programs that have returned economic benefits to the U.S. economy more than 10 times the investment made in them by taxpayers, the announcement said.
At UALR, she has traveled extensively to recruit minorities and women to persuade them to study science and technology, which she considers critical to our national economic well-being.
"The biggest obstacle to integrating technology into the workplace to improve productivity," she says, "is finding qualified people." Her goal is to change that, attracting to careers in science and technology young people who have historically been underrepresented in these fields, the announcement says.
She is now a managing member for Venture Capital Investors LLC, a group of Arkansas business leaders who foster economic growth through support of technology-based enterprises.
"Dr. Mary Good is a rare example of someone who is both firmly entrenched in the quantifiable, research-based world of science and technology but whose every effort in those fields has been informed by an ethic of service to humanity," said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation.
"Her contributions to the U.S. economy are well documented, but her contributions to our quality of life are only beginning to be appreciated. It is for these contributions, especially for her efforts to recruit young women and minorities into careers in science and technology, that the Heinz Award is so richly deserved."
Mrs. Heinz established the Heinz Awards in 1993 in honor of her late husband, Sen. John Heinz, to recognize outstanding leaders in areas in which he was most active. Heinz Award winners will receive their awards at a private ceremony in Washington on March 7. Among the largest individual achievement prizes in the world, there are no restrictions on how the money may be used. Other 1999 Heinz Award winners are:
Arts and Humanities: Author and naturalist Peter Matthiessen
The Environment: Paul Gorman, founder of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment
Public Policy: Dr. Edward Zigler, often called "the father of Head Start." has developed programs for at-risk children for more than 35 years
The Human Condition: Robert Moses, who developed the Algebra Project, a grassroots effort to ensure that all children have access to mathematics curriculum that will prepare them for college-level work, regardless of background or income.