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 Annie Murphy.

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells (left) and Annie Murphy (right).Annie Murphy has made impressive contributions in both research and scholarship since she arrived at VIMS in 2010. Her study of nitrogen cycling and water quality in bivalve aquaculture tackles a rapidly expanding and important area of research, with major management, economic, and social implications. Bivalve aquaculture is often touted as a “win-win” proposition that provides food and supports local economies while improving water quality. However, little is known about potential negative impacts, and few have studied hard clam aquaculture settings such as those along Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Annie’s interdisciplinary research—both in Virginia and in Italy through her collaboration with the University of Parma—will help managers and clam farmers ensure sustainability of the industry.

Annie is co-author on one paper in print and lead author on another in press; two others are in preparation and more are sure to come as she completes her dissertation. She has also disseminated her findings at numerous conferences and meetings, and is active in both student governance and journal reviews.

Annie's educational contributions are impressive. As a GK-12 fellow, her love of teaching really stood out. Annie was also awarded a Marine Science Teaching fellowship, for which she designed and taught an undergraduate course for the Marine Science Minor at William & Mary. She has mentored 3 REU undergraduates and a Governor's School student, and has participated in outreach through such venues as Marine Science Day and the annual Virginia Sea Grant Project Participants’ Symposium.

We believe that Annie's dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to meet challenges head-on ensure a successful future.