26 January 2011
This is from an e-mail I just got from Dr. Robert Templin, the President of Northern Virginia Community College, in reference to my colleague Ken Rasmussen:
I am very pleased to share with you the news that Dr. Kenneth Rasmussen, Professor of Geology at the Annandale Campus, is a recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award for 2011. This award, sponsored by Dominion and administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, is the highest honor bestowed by the Commonwealth on those who serve in higher education.
Students and colleagues readily attest to the vitality and quality that Dr. Rasmussen has brought to the study of geology and oceanography at NOVA since he joined the faculty in 1992. He has always believed that the best way to develop scientifically learned citizens is to involve them in field excursions along with hands-on laboratory experiences: “It keeps the science fresh and the teaching inspired, and it pays dividends in student development.” Twice annual cruises on the Chesapeake Bay allow students to use their own field observations to document real-time patterns in the health of the estuary. Whenever possible, he has involved students in his own extensive research projects, whether nearby at the Smithsonian Institution or halfway around the world at Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan.
To support his field courses and research, Dr, Rasmussen has secured grants from the National Science Foundation and the VCCS Professional Development Program, as well as receiving a NOVA Presidential Sabbatical. He has also been recognized as Faculty of the Year by the NVCC Educational Foundation and received the John H. Moss Award for Excellence in College Teaching from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. He frequently finds ways to share within and beyond NOVA his passion for the earth sciences—and their criticality for a habitable planet—whether by providing Honors Options for students in his classes; making presentations to school children, teachers groups, and the Lifelong Learning Institute; or serving as a lecturer at George Washington University. He takes particular pride in knowing that a number of former students who have gone to major in geology or related fields are now serving as school teachers and college faculty members.
Ken Rasmussen is now in the company of eight other NOVA colleagues who have been recipients of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. Please join me in thanking him for his distinguished service to the college and in congratulating him for this very special recognition.
Hearty congratulations to Ken for this worthy recognition!