Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

Biology Prof. First Winner of Prestigious New Award

Involving undergraduates in award-winning research: Prof. Sarah Schaack (right) was recently honored by the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.

Congratulations to Prof. Sarah Schaack [biology 2011–] who is the first ever recipient of a new award from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust: the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by something like this—an award unheard of in the sciences, especially for early career faculty," Prof. Schaack says. The foundation noted that Prof. Schaack “was chosen for her research in the nature of mutations, particularly those caused by mobile DNA, and for deeply involving her undergraduate students.” Named in honor of Dr. Lynwood Swanson, a prominent scientist, entrepreneur, and trustee for the Murdock foundation for 30 years, the annual award recognizes an emerging professor's scientific research.

Prof. Schaack accepts a Murdock scientific promise award in Spokane, WA in November, attended by Dean Nigel Nicholson and executives from the foundation.

"I have appreciated the Trust's financial support for my work as a scientist through their grant programs, but to be recognized by the Promise award not only for my work, but the work I endeavor to share with undergraduate and international collaborators, is more than a compliment-- it is motivation to do more," says Schaack.

Prof. Schaack, a genomist, was recently granted tenure. In 2012 she was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation (the Faculty Early Career Development Program— CAREER—Grant) and was a 2013–14 Fulbright Scholar working in East Africa where she coordinated a genome sequencing project with collaborators in Nairobi and Kenya. She teaches many courses including introduction to biology; genes, genetics and genomes; and mobile DNA. Schaack is known for her dynamic teaching style in the classroom and outside, and for taking students on off-campus research trips in the U.S. and East Africa.  

Tags: Professors, Biology, Awards