Check out the Earth Sciences 2020 Banquet slide show, virtual edition!
2020 SES Graduate Student Awards (virtual ceremony due to COVID-19)
Presenter: Professor Steven Lower (Chair, Graduate Studies Committee)
The School of Earth Sciences has two graduate programs: one in Earth Science and one in Geodetic Science. Professor Demian Gomez will present the geodetic honors. It is my pleasure to announce this year’s graduate student honorees for the Earth Sciences graduate program.
There are five awards that will be presented: (1) Estwing Award for distinguished scholar in her/his first year, (2) Johnson Award for student who advanced to candidacy, (3) Spieker Award for graduating Ph.D. student, (4) Distinguished teaching award, and (5) Orton Award for distinguished service.
Award selections are based on both the annual activity reports submitted by each student as well as nominations/recommendations from the faculty. Selections are made by the Graduate Studies Committee: Demian Gomez, Elizabeth Griffith, Steven Lower, Joachim Moortgat, Angie Rogers, and Audrey Sawyer. The selection process is always a challenge because SES has many exceptional graduate students.
I’ll begin with the Estwing Award for a distinguished scholar in her/his first year.
This student entered the graduate program as a University Fellow and “has been absolutely lights out since then”. His research was presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of American and the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, where he won the outstanding student paper award. This student was awarded a competitive research grant from the Ohio Geological Survey to study impact-related structures in the Serpent Mound Impact Structure. He is using these funds to study microstructures from the impact structure using ultra high-resolution microCT scanning. Finally, this student possesses something called “aplomb”, according to his advisor (Ashley Griffith). Yep, I had to look it up too. Please join me in congratulating Zach Smith as this year’s Estwing Honoree.
We had a stellar class of new students. A number of our other first-year students were recognized with other awards like: Derrick James (University Fellow), Gabriel Martinez (Graduate Enrichment Fellow), Zhaozhe Chen (College Fellow), Jacob Fillingham (visiting scholar at DOE National Lab), and Oliver McLellan (College Fellow). Graduate students in their second year cannot be considered for the Estwing Award. Nonetheless, several second year M.S. students stood out. Ryan Heber gave research presentations at the American Geophysical Union and a Gordon Research Conference. Brent Lary and Brittan Wogsland presented their research at the Geological Society of America meeting. Lindsey Hernandez won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Student Research Fellowship!
The next award is the Michael S. Johnson award. Nominations must be Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy.
This year’s awardee attended NASA’s ICESat workshop at the University of Washington. She presented her research at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the SACNAS National Diversity in STEM conference, and the Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment meeting at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She was the inaugural winner of a fellowship named after Lois M. Jones, who led the first all-female research expedition to Antarctica in 1969. This year’s winner also performed a significant amount of service to SES (grad student rep, VP for the graduate student club), Byrd Polar (WestFest rep, Ohio Science Olympiad), Ohio State’s chapter of SACNAS (fundraising chair, Northside Library Fun Fridays), and AGU (Mentoring 365 Live program). She has a first-author paper on basal channel evolution in Antarctica that is currently undergoing revision for the Journal of Geophysical Research. Please join me in congratulating Allison Chartrand (advised by Ian Howat) as this year’s Johnson Honoree.
Some highlights for other students who recently passed their candidacy exams include: Chris Conwell (invited talks at Geological Society of America and Chengdu University of Technology, China); Brandi Lenz & Ken Peterman (first author presentations at the American Geophysical Union meeting).
Next up is the Distinguished Teaching award
The School has a large number of exceptional student teachers. We had a total of 26 different graduate students and 7 undergraduates who taught classes or labs this past academic year. It was a challenge to pick just one winner for this prestigious teaching honor. We actually selected two winners this year.
The first honoree was a lab instructor in ES1100 Planet Earth, which is the largest class offered by the School enrolling over 800 students this past year. Education of students in this class plays a key role in promoting science literacy and helping students understand the critical role of science in society. Students in this person’s class often make comments like “the best TA I’ve had at OSU” and “She was very helpful in answering any question students had about the lab. She truly cared about the students.” This awardee’s SEI evaluations are sky high in the 4.8 to 4.9 range. Please join me in recognizing Rowan McLachlan for her exceptional teaching.
The School’s second honoree teaches advanced major classes like Structural Geology and Field camp. Students simply love this instructor saying things like “His patience, support and amiable nature made the challenging learning curve feel much less formidable” and “[he] galloped across mapping areas with a smile …finding him out in the field was easy.” It’s not uncommon for his SEI scores to be a perfect 5.0! Perhaps the highest complement comes from Dr. Terry Wilson, “Over the years (I have been involved in teaching field camp for >30) we have had many excellent Teaching Associates for the Field Geology 6-week capstone course in Utah. Amongst this excellent group, [this awardee] stands out as the ‘best of the best’.” This honoree embodies the scholar-teacher role, and he will make a fine faculty member after he completes his dissertation. Please join me in congratulating Michael Braunagel.
The Spieker award recognizes an outstanding senior graduating Ph.D. student.
The selection of this award was particularly difficult because we have a number of outstanding Ph.D. students who will graduate this spring or summer. For example, Deon Knights and Jamie Price are Presidential Fellows; multiple graduating students have at least one, 1st author peer-reviewed publication this past year (Datu Adiatma, Michael Braunagel, Trevor Browning, Samantha Carter, Steve Coss, Billy Eymold, Li Wei), several more graduating students have 1st author manuscripts in various stages of peer-review (Melisa Diaz, Michalea King, Deon Knights, Max Wheeler), and a handful of graduating students are co-authors on a peer-reviewed pub this past year (Kerri Dobson, Yuna Duan, Bohyun Hwang). We selected two Spieker awardees this year.
Our first awardee has 1st author publications in the Journal of Geophysical Research and Environmental Science-Processes and Impacts. She has also coauthored four more journal articles while at Ohio State. She has given a dozen presentations at annual meetings of professional societies like the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, Goldschmidt, and SACNAS. She has been an excellent TA in multiple classes including ES1100, ES1121, ES1151, ES2204, and ES5621. Still, she finds time for service like Metro Rocks, the School’s Diversity Committee, and Franklin County College Bound Mentoring. She has been honored with grants from the Geological Society of America and the American Institute of Professional Geologists. Please join me in a congratulating Casey Saup, who is supervised by Professor Mike Wilkins.
Our second awardee has 1st authored papers in Fuel, Energy & Fuels, and one in revision at Chemical Engineering. He has also published another dozen co-authored papers with collaborators in the Chemical Engineering department, his former department in Beijing, and Oak Ridge National Lab, where he worked last summer. His papers already racked up an h-index of 11. This awardee secured his own research funding through 7 successful proposals and presented his work at annual meetings of the Geological Society of America, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Goldschmidt as well as the Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG) Student Leadership Symposium in Houston. He served as the President of our SEG student chapter and the Vice President of our AAPG student chapter. Please join me in a congratulating Fengyang Xiong who is advised by Professor Joachim Moortgat.
Finally, it is my pleasure to present the Orton Distinguished Service Award.
I’m proud to say that our graduate students perform a lot of service for the school and profession. Melisa Diaz was selected as the recipient of the National SACNAS Award for Outstanding Professional Development! Our students have chaired sessions at professional meetings like GSA (Datu Adiatma, Chris Conwell), served as discussion leaders at Gordon conferences (Li Wei), panelists for NASA press conferences (Michalea King), webmaster for SACNAS (Adolfo Calero). Students step up to serve as representatives on the School’s Graduate Studies committee (Prescott Vayda, Vibhor Agarwal, Michael Whaley, Josh Martin, Allison Chartrand), officers in the School’s Grad Club (Devin Smith, Allison Chartrand), delegates on the university’s Council of Graduate Students (Lindsey Hernandez), university Sigma Xi officer (Rowan McLachlan), president of international student organization (JJ Kim), president of Columbus Astronomical Society (Mark Peter). Students spearhead the campus visit for prospective graduate students (Prescott Vayda, Teresa Avila, Oliver McLellan), perform museum outreach (Prescott Vayda, Ken Peterman), STEM outreach (Sam Carter), and our students run the School’s education outreach program known as MetroRocks! (Chris Conwell, Melisa Diaz, Lindsey Hernandez, Rowan McLachlan, Jamie Price, Casey Saup, Devin Smith, Brittan Wogsland). Of course, I want to recognize the students who put together the virtual spring banquet slide show (Brittan Wogsland, Allison Chartrand).
Because of this tremendous service by our graduate students, it was difficult to select only one honoree for the Distinguished Service Award, but we did. I’ll begin this introduction by saying that the winner of this year’s service award is first and foremost a talented scientist and educator. She was awarded a distinguished University fellowship during her first year of graduate school. She was invited to give an oral presentation on seafloor weathering at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. She has taught ES1122 (Earth through Time) scoring 4.9 out of 5 on her SEI evaluations! She won a research grant from the Geological Society of America. Somehow she finds time to do even more.
This past academic year, this student has stepped up again and again. She is the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Club, a lead organizer of the Prospective Student week each of the past two years, and an active member of the School’s Diversity Committee where she helped develop an important school-wide Code of Conduct. She single handedly organized and managed the School’s recruitment booth at the annual meetings of professional societies like GSA. She also found time to mentor students for the Sigma Xi Science Fair. Please join me in recognizing the winner of the School’s Distinguished Service Award Teresa Avila.
2019-2020 Earth Science Graduate Student Awards
- Estwing Award for distinguished scholar in her/his first year: Zach Smith
- Johnson Award for student who advanced to candidacy: Allison Chartrand
- Spieker Award for graduating Ph.D. student: Casey Saup, Fengyang Xiong
- Distinguished teaching award: Rowan McLachlan (for GE classes), Michael Braunagel (for major classes)
- Orton Award for distinguished service: Teresa Avila