Each year, as we select our "Emerging Scholars," we're always amazed and inspired by the accomplishments of these under-40 intellectuals. This year is no exception.

The Class of 2008 includes a math biologist who was only the second woman to receive the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in math; a geneticist who recently became one of 20 winners of the National Science Foundation's Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers; and an extensively published educational equity law expert who was the Education Law Association's inaugural recipient of its Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship for Education Law.

Beyond the accolades, we always find compelling the personal stories of perseverance, resilience and dedication. Like the educational psychologist who was unprepared for the rigors of college but self-corrected his study skills in order to earn three degrees. And the political science professor who, as a boy during summer breaks, tilled the land with his farm-worker parents but also heeded the "get an education" message of parents who never made it past the sixth grade. And the Black woman physicist, who, lacking role models who looked like her, questioned whether she could succeed in a field dominated by White men but went on to become one of three women physicists of color at a top 100 research institution.

We think you'll be similarly amazed and inspired by this year's crop of "Emerging Scholars."