Mary Holder, an academic professional supporting the neuroscience major in the School of Psychology, is this year’s winner of the Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Advising Faculty Award at Georgia Tech. In early 2020, as education around the world moved from classrooms to online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holder had to change some of her advising practices.
“During the week of spring break, I led in the creation of a Canvas course for all Neuroscience majors as a way to share information, forms, procedures, etc.,” Holder says. “We also reached out to our students in ‘ready to learn’ surveys that included questions about their personal situations after the move to online. Several of the students in those surveys noted particular issues, and I made it a point to reach out to those students individually to see how I could help.”
Most students indicated they were in safe, supportive learning environments. For those facing extra stress, Holder discussed daily strategies while pointing the students to all Georgia Tech resources available to them.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education presents the Outstanding Academic Advising Faculty Award to an instructor “who has significant responsibilities in advising undergraduates and in teaching and/or research.”
Holder is one of three College of Sciences faculty members collecting end-of-school-year awards from the OVP/UE and the Georgia Tech Faculty Honors Committee.
Joshua Weitz, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, is the winner of the Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, presented to faculty who have made significant interdisciplinary contributions to teaching and research.
In an email to Weitz, Faculty Honors Committee chairman Nathan Moon lauded him for “your distinguished record of scholarship and leadership at Georgia Tech, including your contributions to the development of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences. With 59 faculty representing 6 schools in the College of Sciences, this program has invigorated research and training across multiple schools and disciplines. The committee also noted how your own works spans the biological, mathematical, and physical sciences, how your research in viral ecology, among other things, is making deep, substantive — and timely — impacts in numerous fields.”
Weitz’s research group is currently working on several projects related to COVID-19 response modeling. Weitz is also the director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences.
Shuyi Nie, an assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of the Junior Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.
In his email notifying Nie of her award, Moon says “the committee was impressed by your record of success as a mentor to students who have gone on to graduate and professional studies and career success. We also noted your emphasis not just on research skills, but also professional and personal development.” Nie, who came to Georgia Tech in 2014, researches how cells know where to migrate during embryonic development. Learn more at Nie Lab.
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Renay San Miguel
College of Sciences