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 2009 goes to Professor Steve Kuehl.

It is safe to say that Dr. Steven Kuehl has every student's best interest in mind when he advises, co-advises, teaches, or interacts with him or her; however, he has proved to be an exceptional advocate for women in the field by encouraging women to excel, strive, and always think critically. In his tenure at VIMS he has advised 10 women through to the completion of either a MS or Ph.D. and co-advised or sat on the committees of countless more female marine sciences MS and Ph.D. candidates. He also frequently advises undergraduates in the Geology Department at William and Mary.

Professor Steve Kuehl and graduate student Lindsey Kraatz prepare to analyze a sediment core.One colleague aptly describes Steve as "one of the most distinguished, dedicated, and conscientious members of the faculty in the School of Marine Science and College of William and Mary." Steve maintains a cutting-edge marine geochronology and sedimentology lab at VIMS; and is seen as a leader in the marine geology community, consistently fostering international collaborations. Steve is also very welcoming and works well with scientists across age, gender, and cultural barriers. This is evidenced by his engagement of a broad community in the Source-to-Sink program, which includes international scientists, women scientists, and junior scientists. At the most recent workshop in 2009, for example, Steve encouraged the participation of women scientists in the organization and execution of the workshop. Steve has contributed to the institution through his dedicated leadership and support of women faculty. For example, Steve served as Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences for 6 years. During his tenure as Chair, he provided excellent leadership and guidance as new hires, several female, negotiated the tenure and promotion process.

From his tireless energy on research cruises, "significant contributions to education" including extremely innovative and always popular "698" classes and field trips, to his community involvement and enthusiastic commitment to VIMS' health via afternoon yoga classes and even the infamous chocolate candy jar, Steve is dedicated to advancing women in marine science. He has an open-door policy, and, because of his "fantastic rapport with students," is often sought out for advice, even outside of the department and for non-academic issues. He is an exemplary role model for women marine scientists, and his personal approach and skills as a mentor and colleague truly set him apart! Steve fosters a climate within his lab and beyond, of graciousness, understanding and mutual responsibility; his dedication, leadership and commitment to education, community, and advising make him highly deserving of this award.

Congratulations, Steve!