The John M. & Marilyn Zeigler Student Achievement Award honors the past contributions to student needs of Dr. John Zeigler, the first SMS Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and the continuing contributions of Mrs. Marilyn Zeigler.
The Zeigler award formally recognizes students who excel in scholarship, leadership, research initiative, outstanding publications, and exceptional thesis or dissertation work.
This year’s award recipient is Kersey Sturdivant.
Kersey has shown a great aptitude for science and learning since arriving at VIMS five years ago. Within months of outlining his ambitious research plan, he successfully bypassed to the Ph.D. program. He has quantified the effects of low dissolved oxygen on benthic secondary production and consequences for trophic transfer with a combination of fieldwork and modeling. He has worked across disciplines, including elements of physical oceanography and numerical modeling.
He has won Honorable Mention for a poster presentation at an ASLO meeting and has a first authored publication, one manuscript in review, and three in preparation.
With all this he still managed to be a frequent organizer of student social events. Kersey has made genuine contributions to the science and social lives of students at VIMS. He also assisted other students with their work.
After a short internship with NOAA, they were so impressed with his abilities that they offered him a position. He will start with them as soon as he graduates. He has consistently shown his abilities in scholarship, leadership, research initiative, and publication. He is also engaged with other graduate students and faculty, inside and outside of VIMS.
Kersey is the type of energetic and intelligent student that John Ziegler would have been proud to know as a VIMS student.