2005 VIMS Service Awards

2005 VIMS Service Awards

The following remarks were read by Dean and Director Dr. John Wells during VIMS' annual Awards Ceremony on May 25, 2006 to honor recipients of the 2005 Service Awards.

Ms. Candy Campbell Robert M. Freeman Volunteer of the Year Award

This award was named for Robert Mallory Freeman, a former VIMS Council member and supporter who passed away in 2004. Bob was chairman of Signet Bank in Richmond until 1996. He was active with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Virginia Environmental Endowment, among many other community leadership activities. At VIMS, Bob was interested in oyster restoration, advancing research with cutting-edge scientific equipment, and helping to leverage resources like VIMS newest vessel, the Pelican. The Pelican is a former Mike boat now being renovated for research at VIMS with help from the Freeman family and other generous donors.

The winner of this year's Freeman Award is Candy Campbell.

Candy serves as Chair of the Annual Fund Committee, a group of volunteers who work with the Development Office to raise private funds and promote VIMS in our community. Candy's energy and enthusiasm are contagious. She is such a supporter of VIMS that others naturally follow in her footsteps. When she took on the responsibility of chairing the Annual Fund Committee, she met every Monday with a different faculty member to gain even more knowledge.

During the last six months, Candy has led the way in acquiring items for the VIMS Auction. Due to her leadership, the Auction raised more than $50,000 for the educational needs of the Institute.

There can be no doubt that Candy Campbell is an excellent choice for the ROBERT M. FREEMAN Volunteer of the Year Award. Please accept this certificate as our appreciation of your dedication, loyalty, and efficiency while volunteering at VIMS. | top

Outstanding Classified Employee Awards

These awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Research and Advisory Service, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.

Ms. Jan Millen Facilities/Safety/Trades

The Awards Committee is pleased to present the Outstanding Classified Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades for 2005 to Ms. Janette Millen.

Janette Millen joined the VIMS community in July 2002. Today, Jan continues her great work in the Housekeeping Department. She maintains Nunnally Hall and the Boat Basin buildings in tip-top condition and is a versatile worker who can be counted on to fill in wherever needed in the department. She is extremely dedicated, and takes great pride in her job. Thanks to her efforts, VIMS can rest assured that our buildings will always sparkle.

Jan always has a kind word or a moment to ask how people are doing as she goes about her duties. She is a team player and can always be counted on, even during her courageous battle with cancer. Even though Jan is dealing with chemotherapy, she still shows up to work and insists on getting her job done with a smile. VIMS would certainly not be as bright without her.

Away from VIMS, Jan spends her time with her two children, wearing a path to Busch Gardens and Wal-Mart. She is an avid gardener and has frequently provided support to the Grounds Department.

Jan is a well-deserving recipient of the Outstanding Classified Employee Award for Facilities, and we are proud to acknowledge the outstanding manner in which Jan has always, and continues to, serve the Institute.

Congratulations, Jan! | top

Ms. Marcia Berman Research/Advisory Service

The recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Classified Employee in Research/Advisory Service is Ms. Marcia Berman.

In many ways, Marcia Berman epitomizes the exceptional qualities of VIMS professional staff engaged in research and advisory service. From her beginnings as a coastal geologist, Marcia came to VIMS to direct the Institute's Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program. This program was one of the first in Virginia to incorporate GIS as a framework for its operations. Under her direction, the Inventory program has become a recognized leader in its field both regionally and nationally. Recognition of Marcia's expertise has resulted in numerous invitations to join advisory committees and provide lectures at the state, regional, national, and international levels. Another indication of her excellence is a grant proposal record that would be the envy of most of the faculty at VIMS.

Her colleagues have nominated her for this award, not only because of her sustained excellence, but because she is a "personality-to-be-reckoned-with." Marcia's enthusiasm for her work, her style in representing VIMS, and her compassion for her coworkers have earned her their continuing respect and admiration. She truly embodies the best VIMS has to offer.

Marcia is valuable resource to VIMS in her professional life as a researcher and as co-worker. She is most deserving of this award.

Congratulations, Marcia! | top

Mr. Joe Cope Technical Support

The winner of the 2005 Outstanding Classified Employee for Technical Support is Mr. Joe Cope.


Joe has worked in the Zooplankton Ecology laboratory at VIMS for the past 5 years and truly provides outstanding technical support and expertise in the laboratory and in the field. He is multi-talented—able to dissect and identify small zooplankton less than 1 millimeter in length, just as expertly as he can take apart a 2 meter-wide, 2-ton electronic plankton net to troubleshoot a faulty connection. Joe is extremely proficient at computer programming and data management too, and his expertise in statistics serves the zooplankton laboratory group and many others at VIMS well. He has traveled around the world these past several years, tirelessly supporting the zooplankton lab's oceanographic research expeditions and making them a success.

Joe is also exceptionally supportive of the graduate students in his lab—he is a boat driver extraordinaire, teaching the students how to drive and dock the boat, and making their plankton collecting trips fun. Joe is simply a remarkably capable, helpful, and dedicated technician that we are lucky to have at VIMS.

Joe's exceptional and selfless contributions in support of VIMS' research, advisory, and educational missions are outstanding. We are proud to honor Joe Cope as the Institute's most Outstanding Classified Staff in Technical Support for 2005.

Congratulations, Joe! | top

Administrative Support

The winner of the 2005 Outstanding Classified Employee for Administrative Support is Ms. Fonda Powell.

Fonda is exceptional. As the face of the Graduate Dean's office, Fonda serves as Mother Hen, confidant, friend, and occasional taskmaster to most of the graduate students at VIMS, and to the Graduate Dean as well. Our students recognize how much Fonda does for them and how much she cares about their success.

In addition to the help and succor that Fonda provides to graduate students, she also plays an exceptional role in helping to run the Graduate Dean's office. When Graduate Dean Iris Anderson first took the job, Fonda educated her in the ways of the office. Iris would not have survived without Fonda.

Fonda is knowledgeable about all the administrative details of the graduate program and takes responsibility for numerous aspects. These include budgeting for fellowships and courses; tracking students to ensure that stipends, tuition, and insurance benefits are paid in a timely manner; and organizing the many admissions files. In most cases, Fonda is also the initial and continuing contact for applicants during the admissions process. She also, along with Sue Presson, responds to the many requests for statistics regarding the graduate program at VIMS.

Fonda is also actively involved in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. There are as many applicants to the REU program as to our graduate program, so it is no mean feat for Fonda to communicate with, arrange for travel, track, and "mother" these undergraduates.

Congratulations, Fonda for all your hard work! | top

Dr. Deborah Steinberg The Dean's Prize for the Advancement of Women in Marine Science

The Dean's Prize for the Advancement of Women in Marine Science is awarded for outstanding contributions toward the promotion of women in science. The award for 2005 goes to Dr. Debbie Steinberg.

Dr. Steinberg embodies all of the qualities of a strong role model for other women in marine science as a mentor, teacher, and researcher. As a mentor, Debbie currently advises three female students who all speak very highly of her contagious enthusiasm for her research, which promotes success in her students.

In addition, Debbie is an outstanding teacher who displays an infectious passion for the subject. She teaches the 501 Fundamentals of Marine Science core course and her teaching style is prized by the students. Students comment that her sections of the course are enjoyable and her teaching is not only comprehensible but also exciting! In 2005, Debbie won the College of William & Mary "Term Distinguished Professor of Marine Science" Award for her contributions to the academic program.

She also maintains a strong research program with projects both within and outside Chesapeake Bay. She is known internationally for her outstanding research and was recognized as one of the noteworthy "Women in Oceanography" in the March 2005 issue of Oceanography. She publishes her research in highly respected journals such as Marine Ecology Progress Series, Limnology and Oceanography, and Deep Sea Research (where she serves as associate editor). In addition, it is remarkable that Debbie balances her career with a personal life with two young boys and a husband who is also a professional.

Debbie Steinberg provides an outstanding role model for the many women at VIMS and in the broader Marine Science community. She embodies all the strengths of an effective mentor, an outstanding teacher, and a leading researcher. Because of her support of all women at SMS/VIMS she is highly deserving of the Dean's Prize for the Advancement of Women in Marine Science.

Congratulations, Debbie! | top

Dr. Hugh Ducklow Outstanding Faculty Research Award

This is an alternating award given every three years to a faculty member who has excelled in teaching, research, or advisory services. This year's winner of the Outstanding Research Award is Dr. Hugh Ducklow.

Dr. Hugh Ducklow has been a member of the VIMS faculty for 12 years, and holds the endowed Glucksman Professor of Marine Science chair. Hugh is a giant in the field of oceanography and has had an enormous impact in the areas of microbial ecology and global carbon cycling. He moves effortlessly from the microscopic scale of bacteria, his specialty, to long-term trends in the global ocean ecosystem, and between mathematical models, experiments, and large-scale, complex observational data sets. Importantly, he has used that broad and deep expertise to great effect in the larger mission of furthering global ocean science, via his leadership of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, and the Palmer Station Long-Term Ecological Research program in Antarctica. The quality of his research is reflected in numerous publications in prestigious journals including two publications in Science and four in Nature, as well as the publication of influential books within his area of expertise.

Hugh has mentored an impressive list of highly successful graduate students who have benefited immensely from his breadth of knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and keen eye for where the field is heading. It is a pleasure to honor Hugh with this award as an expression of our appreciation for the standards and accomplishments he has brought to this institution and its research mission, and for the credit he has brought to all of us.

Thank you, Hugh—you are an excellent role model for those that wish to pursue scientific research. You continue to be an excellent representative of VIMS and we all are grateful for your contributions. | top

Recognition of Special Accomplishments

The following section acknowledges some of the many accolades bestowed on VIMS faculty, students, and staff in 2005. For more details visit the VIMS' Top Stories page at

  • VIMS alumna Dr. Leigh McCallister won the prestigious Lindeman Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, which recognizes the outstanding paper in aquatic sciences by an early-career researcher. With 3,800 members from 58 countries around the world, ASLO is the nation's leading professional organization for aquatic scientists.

  • Serena Ciparis received the Best Student Publication Award for her paper on flame retardants in biosolids, which appeared in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry in 2005.

  • Six VIMS graduate students took home awards during the Estuarine Research Federation's annual meeting in Norfolk in October. Malcolm Scully received third place in the graduate student competition for his talk on turbulent mixing in estuaries. Jessie Campbell won an honorable mention for her talk on the ecological factors affecting the germination of sea-grass seeds. David Gillett, Grace Henderson, Frank Parker, and Adriana Veloza were recognized as among the top 50 student presenters.

  • Graduate student Grace Browder was one of three recipients of a prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award during 2005 commencement ceremonies at William and Mary The award recognizes Grace's service to the community.

  • PhD candidate Chris Long received the prestigious GRO fellowship and Amanda Spivak received the STAR fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005.

  • Graduate student Will Tarantino received a NSF doctoral fellowship that will support his modeling and experimental studies of biodiversity in seagrass beds.

  • Graduate student John Pohlman received the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the Fall 2005 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

  • Graduate student Vince Saba was awarded second place for student oral papers at the annual  International Sea Turtle Symposium. This is the largest such meeting in the world with more than 700 attendees.

  • Susan Stein in the VIMS publications center received the Distinguished Service Award from the United Jewish Community Center in Newport News. The annual award recognizes a volunteer who helps the Center run more efficiently.

  • Mr. Jon Lucy received the Bob Hutchinson Conservation award from the Portsmouth Anglers Club for his longstanding leadership with the state's game-fish tagging program.

  • Drs. Emmett Duffy and Rom Lipcius were awarded 2006 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowships. As Leopold Fellows, Duffy and Lipcius will participate in training designed to promote effective communication of science beyond traditional academic audiences.

  • Dr. Debbie Steinberg received "The Class of 1964 Distinguished Professor of Marine Science" from the College of William and Mary. She also co-chaired the joint AGU/ASLO Ocean Sciences meeting in Hawaii.

  • Graduate student Kurt Gray won the best student poster award during the 85th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Tampa, Florida in early July.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Canuel won the 2006 Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award, the highest honor given to young faculty members at the College of William and Mary.

  • Dr. John Olney received the award for Excellence in Fisheries Education from the Tidewater Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

  • Dr. Mary Fabrizio received the NOAA Bronze Medal Award for ultrasonic tagging work conducted during her tenure at the National Marine Fisheries Service.

  • James Kirkley and William Reay each received a prestigious Environmental Hero Award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA presents the award each year to a small number of individuals and organizations from across the United States to honor their efforts to preserve and protect the nation's environment.

  • A recent analysis of more than 17,000 citations in leading coastal science journals between 1971 and 2003 shows that Bob Diaz, Hugh Ducklow, and John Milliman have authored 3 of the 10 most highly cited works during that span.

  • Graduate student Todd Gedamke was appointed Associate Editor of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management. Gedamke is the first VIMS student to be appointed to such a position.

  • Willard Van Engel received an honorary PhD from the College of William and Mary during the recent graduation ceremony. Van Engel is credited with being one of the individuals responsible for the creation of VIMS in the mid-1940s. He conducted research and taught at VIMS until 1985 when he retired at age 70. Upon retirement, he had dedicated 39 years of his life to VIMS and its School of Marine Science. top