The Zeigler Student Achievement Award honors Dr. John Zeigler, VIMS’ first Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and Mrs. Marilyn Zeigler. The award recognizes students who excel in scholarship, leadership, research initiative, outstanding publications, and exceptional thesis or dissertation work.
The winner of this year's award is Stephanie Wilson.
Stephanie arrived at VIMS in 2016 as an REU in the lab of Dr. B.K. Song, producing high-quality data that she published as a lead author. The next year she enrolled as a Ph.D. student co-advised by B.K. and Dr. Iris Anderson.
Stephanie has been an extraordinary student and colleague. She has earned more than a dozen awards including the Best Ph.D. Student presentation at the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation, the VIMS Commonwealth Coastal Research Fellowship, and a graduate student fellowship from the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. Stephanie also received the LOREX fellowship from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography, allowing her to greatly expand the geographical extent of her dissertation research with a visit to Sweden.
Stephanie’s research focuses on microbial processes within the subterranean estuary of the York River. Her work involves biogeochemistry, molecular composition and abundance, and hydrodynamics. She has given 8 scientific presentations as first author, several invited. She already has 7 manuscripts published or under revision; 5 as first author.
Stephanie is a dedicated educator. She has created K-12 lesson plans, mentored 2 REU students, served as a TA and as a peer mentor on the VIMS Ombuds team, and taught two popular undergraduate courses at William & Mary, including one called “Marine Science & Advocacy through Film."
Stephanie defended her dissertation in March and recently began a prestigious post-doc at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. After only 1 month of working at the Center, she was awarded a competitive National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
We are extremely pleased to honor Stephanie with the Zeigler Student Achievement Award.