The Gary Walker Outstanding Biology Graduate Student Award
This annual award, founded in 2012, was established to recognize one outstanding graduate student in Biology based on measures of service, teaching and research with an award of $500. The award was formed in Dr. Walker's name for over 25 years of commitment and service to the graduate degree program as the Biology Department Graduate Program Director.
Nominations can be made by faculty or graduate students. Multiple nominations from multiple faculty/students can be made for each nominee. Please note that this award is intended to recognize the “Outstanding achivements of a student going above and beyond” in the program. Nominees need to have demonstrated excellence in teaching and research as well as contributed significantly to the graduate program through working in the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA ) or BGSA etc. or to the community by other means (outreach etc.).
The eligibility criteria are as follows:
- Demonstrated leadership in and/or significant contribution to the graduate program through service (eg. holding officer positions in GSGA and/or BGSA, outreach etc.)
- Demonstrated excellence in research (conference presentations, publications etc.)
- Excellent performance in teaching (performance as instructors of record, teaching assistants, training undergraduate/graduate students in research labs).
- Students need to be currently in the graduate program.
To nominate, please write a 1-2 page nomination letter describing why the student deserves this award. Please make sure to cover all 3 areas mentioned in the criteria above.
Open call for nominations will occur around March of each academic year.
Dr. Gary L. Walker
Dr. Gary L. Walker, Professor and Cliff-Face Ecologist in the Department of Biology, has taught for over 30 years.
His research interests are involved with different aspects of cliff-face ecology in the Southern Appalachians. This research began as a spin-off of his doctoral research investigating the population biology of a glacial relict tree in the Southern Appalachians, Northern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis L. These glacial relict populations exist primarily on cliff systems in the Ridge and Valley province of the Southern Appalachians and harbor high levels of genetic variation for the species.