November 4, 2022

AWG’s Outstanding Educators – elevate and celebrate

Posted by Laura Guertin

logo for AWGYears ago, a good friend/colleague of mine was the recipient of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) Outstanding Educator Award. As I was congratulating her on the honor of this international award, she seemed filled with sadness along with joy. She shared that her institution never recognized her for the honor, besides an email that went around her department. I was surprised to hear how a university could not at least post something on their website and want to celebrate that one of their faculty was the recipient of such an honor.

Fast-forward to 2022, when I learned that I would be this year’s recipient of the AWG Outstanding Educator Award. My Director of Academic Affairs did send an email around to the campus, but like my colleague from the past – no social media posting, no article on the campus or university-wide websites, etc.

So please allow me to use this blog post to share a little more about the award and give a shout-out to all of these amazing honorees from previous years. I hope you recognize several of these names and their contributions to our discipline, and perhaps take a few moments to learn more about this group and their accomplishments. I hope that this blog post can help groups/institutions outside of AWG elevate and celebrate these individuals and share their stories.


Established in 1988, the premier professional award of the Association for Women Geoscientists acknowledges the role of teachers and mentors in every woman geoscientist’s life story. The Outstanding Educator Award honors well-established women college or university teachers who have played a significant role in the education and support of geoscientists within and beyond the classroom, in advancing the persistence of females and underrepresented minorities in geoscience careers, and in raising the profile of the geosciences by teaching to and for the broadest audience of students.  —  AWG Award Description

The AWG Outstanding Educator Award is a career award for women educators of any nation with 20 or more years of service to the geoscience community. Nominations are evaluated on the basis of exemplary contributions in at least two of the following three areas: mentoring, instruction and curriculum, and outreach.

Previous award winners include:

• 2022- Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine (hear a recording of my award speech) • 2021- Carol de Wet, Franklin & Marshall College • 2020- Karen Harpp, Colgate University • 2019- Estella Atekwana, University of Delaware • 2018- Gabriela Mángano, University of Saskatchewan • 2017- Susan Conrad, Dutchess Community College • 2016- Barbara Dutrow, Louisiana State University • 2015- Jo Laird, University of New Hampshire • 2014- Tekla Harms, Amherst College • 2013- Diane Smith, Trinity University • 2012- Jean Bahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison • 2011- Marcia Bjornerud, Lawrence University • 2010- Susan Lozier, Duke University • 2009- Anita Grunder, Oregon State University • 2008- Janet Herman, University of Virginia • 2007- Sue Rimmer, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • 2006- Dorothy Merritts, Franklin and Marshall College • 2005- Molly Miller, Vanderbilt University • 2004- Pat Manley, Middlebury College • 2003- Patricia Kelley, University of North Carolina Wilmington • 2002- Gail Ashley, Rutgers University • 2001- Judith Schiebout, Louisiana State University • 2000- Suzanne O’Connell, Wesleyan University and Trinity College • 1999- Pamela Hallock Muller, University of South Florida • 1998- Julia Ann (Jan) Tullis, Brown University • 1997- Lisa M. Pratt, Indiana University • 1996- Linda M. Abriola, University of Michigan Ann Arbor • 1995- Mary E. Savina, Carleton College • 1994- B. Charlotte Schreiber, Queen’s College • 1993- Margaret L. Delaney, University of California Santa-Cruz • 1992- Marie Morisawa, SUNY-Binghamton • 1991- Laurie Brown, University of Massachusetts • 1990- Sharon Mosher, University of Texas at Austin • 1989- No award given • 1988- Maria Luisa Crawford, Bryn Mawr College


(*The names with hyperlinks go to their biography page on Wikipedia – one place where we can do more to elevate and celebrate women in geoscience. If you are a Wikipedia editor, considering creating new pages or adding to existing ones (some of these awardees do not have the AWG award listed on their page!))