The 2018 College of Natural Sciences Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented May 3 at the Marriott Center. The awards honor faculty, staff and students who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college and university. Recipients are presented with their awards and a $1,000 honorarium. Award recipients are chosen by committees chaired by designees appointed by Dean Tricia Serio, including past recipients. Dean Serio, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Mark Tuominen, and department representatives congratulated the winners, each speaking briefly about their experiences. A new award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion was awarded to three inaugural recipients.
Outstanding Teaching Awards:
Daeyoung Kim, Associate Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
"The dominant theme of student comments is a particular satisfaction with how much they have learned. Students find Professor Kim extremely helpful in interactions. This starts with the way that he uses their in-class questions as a teaching tool. It continues through office hours, long term relationships and mentoring."
Outstanding Research Awards:
Senior Career Award: Michele Cooke, Professor, Geosciences
"Michele's novel, cutting-edge research is focused on her hypothesis of work minimization in fault systems. Using this new paradigm-shift, she integrates controlled laboratory experiments with numerical models of earthquake energetics. She has transformed how geologic communities analyze fault growth."
Early Career Award: Thomas Maresca, Associate Professor, Biology
Outstanding Service and Engagement Award:
Outstanding Advising Award:
Lori Astheimer, Lecturer, Psychological and Brain Sciences
From a student: "I must've changed my path at least four or five times…During that whole time, I can honestly say that I was astounded at [Dr. Astheimer's] ability to stay current with what was going on in my undergraduate career, and her willingness to spend her time contemplating different scenarios, simply because I was so indecisive about what I wanted to do."
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards:
Gerald Downes, Associate Professor, Biology
Christie L.C. Ellis, PhD student, Chemistry
"What we celebrate about Christie today is her efforts to make sure students like those in the Eureka! program have an opportunity to become passionate about science and pursue it to the fullest without any impediments."
Raquel Bryant, PhD student, Geosciences
"The energy and openness that Raquel brings to any gathering fuels everyone around her, creating an environment of openness and respect. She changes the chemistry in the most delightful way. I am always struck by the pure honesty of her perspectives coupled with an enthusiasm for respectful dialogue."
Outstanding Staff Awards:
John Maher, Senior Systems and Network Administrator, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry
"John is a consummate professional who works to a very high standard. Working with him feels very collaborative—he takes great care to meet user requests with the best solution possible within limited resources. He is very generous towards others, including working with another department on their networking needs when they lost their IT support staff person."
Ilona Trousdale, Director of Administration and Staff, Mathematics & Statistics
"I have been departmental head for less than three months. Without Ilona, I would not have survived. She wears so many hats. She does scheduling for 15,000 students each year with 900 math majors. She is one of the most dedicated, hardworking people that I have ever met."
Martha (Marty) Sylvia, Technical Assistant, Cranberry Station
"Marty does such a great job: I wish I had three of her, but she is one-of-a-kind. What makes her exemplary is that she is not satisfied with an "okay" job. Marty's output is inherently and consistently of the highest caliber."