TASAA Alum Tom Savage Receives $175,000 STEM Career Award

Tom Savage receives STEM Career Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund
(photo courtesy of Henderson County Early College) Shannon Auten, Principal of HCEC (L), Tom Savage (R)

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund presents the Career Award for STEM Teachers to outstanding STEM teachers in the North Carolina public primary and secondary schools and provides $175,000 over five years. These awards recognize STEM teachers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their classrooms, schools, and communities.

After a rigorous selection process, four exceptional STEM teachers were chosen for this year’s awards, including TASAA alum (NOAA TAS 2015 & 2018) Tom Savage, of Henderson County Early College. “We hope that these awards will encourage more teachers to follow in their footsteps and become leaders in STEM education” said Dr. Louis J. Muglia, president and CEO of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Tom gives credit to TAS, saying, “The award was a direct result of my two Teacher at Sea trips and the Young Scientist elementary outreach program that I began after my first voyage in 2015.”

“This award will fund my elementary outreach efforts for the next five years and impact two Henderson county elementary schools each year, for a total of 10 schools.  It will allow me to purchase science equipment for these schools and start a Big Brother Big Sister program, matching my high school chemistry students with the elementary students. As part of the grant, I will be incorporating ROVe technology from the Project ROVe training. In addition, it will fund the elementary school teachers to attend, and present at, science conferences in the future.  All of this would not have been possible with the TAS program!”

TAS and TASAA congratulate Tom on his outstanding work! We hope that his story inspires other teachers to apply for similar awards!

Past TASAA winners of this award include: 2021-Lindsay Michelle Smith (TAS 2011); 2019-Beverly Owens (TAS 2013); 2017-Brad Rhew (TAS 2017); and 2015-Andi Webb (TAS 2014).

Based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation. Its mission is to serve and strengthen society by nurturing a diverse group of leaders in biomedical sciences to improve human health through education and powering discovery in frontiers of greatest need.
Applications for this award are open to North Carolina teachers who have an outstanding performance record in educating children and who demonstrate a solid knowledge of STEM content.