Dr. Dan McCloskey in The Red Room at the White House

“Scientists and engineers rock!”

Those words, spoken by President Barack Obama, are one of the highlights of Dr. Daniel McCloskey’s trip to the White House.

An Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island (CSI), Dr. McCloskey was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), granting him the U.S. government’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

“I was very proud to be representing the College because, as our College President has remarked, CSI is a different institution than those of many fellow awardees,” said Dr. McCloskey, adding that he was “extremely proud to represent a public university that has so many opportunities for undergrads.”

Dr. McCloskey was honored for “research combining modeling, neurophysiology, and systems biology/network science that will transform the field of social neuroscience by providing a comprehensive approach towards understanding the role of neuropeptides in complex behavioral systems.” He is currently on sabbatical and conducting research both on and off campus with seven graduate, six undergraduate, and two Staten Island Technical High School students.

While the honor and grandeur of the nation’s capital was truly memorable for the CSI Professor, he reflects that the best part was sharing the experience with his family.

“In science, there is not often opportunity to share these occasions with family as they happen,” commented Dr. McCloskey, who traveled to Washington, DC with his wife, three children, and his parents.

“Meeting the President, who is every bit as personable and funny as he comes across, was an honor, and I will never forget it,” recalls Dr. McCloskey.

President Obama welcomed more than 100 leading scientists and engineers from across the country and around the world to thank them for their work on some of the most challenging and complex issues in science and technology.

Dr. McCloskey spent two days in Washington, DC, meeting with Administration leaders and sharing the insights of his work. Ceremonies took place at the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and finally, the White House.