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George Mason University and Georgetown campuses

Science Mentor Recognized for Pioneering HBCU Research Program

Dr. Joel Schnur receives the NRL’s Vision Award from Paul Charles Research Chemist and Director of the US Naval Research Laboratory HBCU/MI Internship Program in its Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering

Ever since his days at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Joel Schnur, now a Mason biomolecular science professor, has been known for his innovative approaches to foster diversity and inclusion. And to mark the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) research partnership he founded, Schnur received the NRL Visionary Award.

 The program, which championed HBCU research, fuels his passion to do the same in the diverse environment he finds within Mason's College of Science.

“I have always loved interacting with people motivated by curiosity as their reason for excellence,” Schnur said.

 Schnur maintains his mentor mindset by working with science-focused PhDs and tenure track faculty; he's mentored more than 70 in the past decade at Mason. During this time, Schnur’s teams of Mason scientists have received more than $17 million in sponsored, ground-breaking research--from speeding wound healing with microbial peptides from Komodo Dragon blood to exploring advanced diagnostics and nano-orgiami structures.