Zeigler Student Achievement Award

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 Mr. Daniel Kaufman.

Danny Kaufman presents a research poster during an IMBER project meeting in Natal, Brazil in 2016.

Since entering the graduate program in 2011, Danny Kaufman has thrived as a graduate student, continually demonstrating excellence in the classroom not only as a student but as a teacher. Danny received excellent reviews from an undergraduate class—Exploring Antarctica’s Ocean—that he taught on main campus, with students providing enthusiastic mid-semester review comments such as: “in-class activities and discussions rock!”

Danny’s independence, creativity, and innate curiosity have also led him to great success in his dissertation research. He has studied phytoplankton variability in the Ross Sea in Antarctica, using a novel combination of mathematical models and autonomous gliders. His findings have led to 5 publications during his time at VIMS that have been well received by the scientific community. He has presented his research not only at meetings across the United States, but also at conferences in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Norway. Most recently, Danny was selected to participate in a summer school in Brazil on Predicting and Projecting Future Changes in the Oceans and their Impacts on Human Societies.

Danny’s role as a leader and scholar renders him highly deserving of the Zeigler Student Achievement Award.