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Odum School recognizes outstanding students and faculty

Jun. 14, 2012

Writer: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu

Contact: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu

The Odum School of Ecology recognized graduate and undergraduate students who have won prestigious awards, grants, and fellowships this year, and announced the winners of the 2010 Ecology departmental awards at the annual Ecology Spring Fling celebration at Flinchum’s Phoenix on April 29. 

“The number of our students receiving national recognition in the form of grants and fellowships this year is a testament to the high quality of our graduate and undergraduate students, and to the strength of our program,” said Dean John Gittleman.  “All of us here at the Odum School are very proud to honor these outstanding scholars.”

Ph.D. student Jake Allgeier received a three-year U.S. EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship. Allgeier is the ninth student from Ecology, and the twentieth from UGA, to be awarded a STAR fellowship since the program began in 1995.

Incoming Ph.D. student Alexa Fritzsche, along with two current students, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  This program provides graduate students with funding for up to a five-year period for research projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Incoming Ph.D. student Alyssa Gehman was awarded a competitive university-wide UGA Graduate Student Assistantship for 2010.

Ph.D. student Jessica Joyner received a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship.  This highly competitive award – on average, only four are given each year – recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research in oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology. 

Incoming Ph.D. student Kimberly Kellett won a competitive UGA Presidential Graduate Fellowship. 

Ph.D. student Carolyn Keogh received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. 

Undergraduate Calley Mersmann won the 2010 Rotaract Student Service Award for the Odum School. Rotaract is an international program for adults ages 18 to 30, sponsored by Rotary International, a service organization of business and professional leaders.

Elizabeth Nixon, an undergraduate with a double major in ecology and scientific illustration, won two awards at the 2010 Science and Medical Illustration Exhibition which showcases the work of UGA undergraduate scientific illustration students and graduate medical illustration students from the Medical College of Georgia.  Nixon won both the Lloyd Logan Award of Excellence and the Joshua Laerm Award of Excellence.

Virginia Schutte, Ph.D. student, also received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.  She was awarded a three-year NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellowship and a NSF East Australia and Pacific Summer Institutes Research Grant as well. 

Ph.D. student Jamie Winternitz received a Snyder Graduate Research Fellowship from the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Snyder Memorial Fund and a Young Explorers Grant from the National Geographic Society. 

Daniel Streicker, Ph.D. student, received a UGA Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award.

Sheena Zhang, an undergraduate Ecology major, was inducted into the UGA chapter of the national Blue Key Honor Society, which recognizes junior and senior men and women of outstanding character and ability who have achieved distinction for scholarship and recognition for service and leadership.

A UGA club, the Go Green Alliance, which is led by ecology undergraduates, received a 2010 Alec Little Environmental Award, which recognizes leaders in environmental responsibility in the Athens area.

Ecology departmental awards for scholarship, teaching, and service were also announced.

John Davis, Ph.D. ’09, won the Best Student Paper Award for “Long-term nutrient enrichment decouples predator and prey production,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December 2009. 

Mark Milby, undergraduate ecology major, won the Dean’s Award for his leadership in successfully promoting campus-wide sustainability at UGA.

Amy Trice, a masters in conservation ecology student, received the Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award. 

Beth Gavrilles received the Employee of the Year Award, which recognizes the employee who has made significant contributions to the success and well-being of Odum School programs during the past year.

James Richardson, Undergraduate Coordinator and Adjunct Research Professor, received the Faculty Instructor of the Year Award.

Sarah E. Bowden won the Josh Laerm Memorial Outstanding Ecology Undergraduate Award.  The Laerm Award recognizes a graduating or recently graduated Ecology major based on a combination of research, classroom, and service performance. It is given in honor of the late Joshua Laerm, who served as director of the Georgia Museum of Natural History from 1978 to 1997. 

Brian Perkins, Systems Administrator Principal for the Odum School, won the Purple Heart Award.  The Purple Heart is given by the Odum School’s graduate students to the faculty or staff member who has gone beyond the requirements of his or her position to be exceptionally helpful to students.

Rebecca R. Risser, Calley A. Mersmann, and Alexander D. Wright were the recipients of the Richardson-Golley Undergraduate Citizenship Award, which recognizes significant effort in providing leadership within the Odum School to encourage others to become better stewards for sustainability and conservation of natural resources.

Tom Barnum, ecology Ph.D. student, won the Robert A. Sheldon Memorial Award. The Robert A. Sheldon Memorial Fund was established in 1971 by a contribution from Mrs. Joanne S. Sheldon in memory of her late husband, who was an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Zoology, to support graduate field research.

Nathan Pratt, a masters student in ecology, received the Solitary Glove Service Award.  This award, given by Terry and Gary Barrett, holder of the Eugene P. Odum Chair in Ecology, recognizes service contributions by graduate students that go beyond the University community.

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