University of Michigan
Robert Eugene Megginson (Lakota) is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is one of a handful of Native Americans who hold a PhD in mathematics, and he has taken great interest in underrepresented minorities in mathematics. In particular, in the 1990s he spent most summers teaching mathematics in special programs at Turtle Mountain Community College, the tribal college of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota.
Dr. Megginson has mentored many minority students and in 1997 received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) awarded Megginson its Ely S. Parker Award for lifetime service to the Native American community in 1999. In 2001 he was named to the Native American Science and Engineering Wall of Fame. The American Association for the Advancement of Science elected him as a fellow in 2009, and in the same year the Mathematical Association of America gave him their Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service, for his work on underrepresented minorities. In 2012, Megginson became one of the inaugural fellows of the American Mathematical Society, and in 2019 was honored with the Distinguished Mentor of the Year Award by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS). He is currently co-Principal Investigator for AISES’s Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM, funded by the single largest National Science Foundation grant ever received by AISES.