The Jackson School of Geosciences Walter Awards recognize top talent among the school’s faculty, researchers, and staff. Recently, the 2023 awardees were recognized at a reception in the school’s student center—the first in-person Walter Awards ceremony since 2019. Award winners received a certificate, trophy, and a cash prize. The annual awards are the school’s most prestigious internal awards and were provided for in an endowment created by Joseph C. Walter Jr. in 1977. This year, two award winners were selected for each category due to the 2022 awards being postponed because of the pandemic.
A winner of the Joseph C. Walter Jr. Excellence Award was the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Steve Laubach. The award is presented annually to a Jackson School faculty, researcher, or staff member in recognition of outstanding service and special contributions to teaching and research programs. No specific guidelines are set for nominations other than demonstrated excellence and impact to the Jackson School in one or any combination of the areas of research, teaching, service, professional activity, and administration. Dr. Laubach was recognized as he exemplifies a true scientist and has been a role model for many research staff members and graduate students. In addition to his research contributions, he regularly contributes to all other functions of the Jackson School and the geoscience profession.
Another award winner was the Bureau’s Sahar Bakhshian with the Jackson School Outstanding Educator Award. The award recognizes accomplishments in any area that promote the future success of students, staff, or other faculty and scientists through teaching, mentoring, or supervision of undergraduate or graduate research. Dr. Bakhshian was recognized for her exemplary work with outstanding students.
Also announced as a winner of the Jackson School Outstanding Research Award was the Bureau’s Alex Sun. The award recognizes research accomplishments of an individual or team of geoscientists in the Jackson School. Dr. Sun was recognized for his advances in data analytics and applications to fundamental research issues.
Please join all of us here in congratulating these exceptional Bureau of Economic Geology researchers!