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Marc Edwards honored with 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising


Marc Edwards Marc Edwards

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 24, 2012 – Marc Edwards, the Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to Virginia Tech faculty members who have been particularly dedicated and effective while advising graduate students. Recipients, who may be nominated by university faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a $2,000 prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

Edwards has been a dedicated graduate student advisor for 18 years. Currently he has five Ph.D. and four master’s advisees. Throughout his career, Edwards has served as major professor for more than 50 graduate students, all of whom were supported with research assistantships from his research grants.

Edwards' advisees have won numerous including the American Water Works Association (AWAS) Academic Achievement Award, the AWAS Outstanding Paper/Presentation Award, AWAS Outstanding Paper/Presentation Award, the University Council on Water Resources Competition, the American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental Engineering Division Outstanding Research Paper Competition, Outstanding Master's Thesis Award and Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering, and the Society of Women Engineering Research Competition.

Of the 34 graduate students Edwards advised through early 2009, more than one-third of them were recognized with externally acknowledged awards.

In addition to advising, students refer to Edwards as a friend, a mentor, and a teacher.

“I believe Marc’s genuine interest in advising and mentoring is the primary reason he is so successful in recruiting and retaining a diverse range of students,” said Emily Sarver, former advisee of Edwards and a current assistant professor of mining and minerals engineering. “It is also the reason why his research team is one of the most engaged and cooperative on campus. He recognizes that collaboration between members at all levels and from all backgrounds makes for the most meaningful learning experiences.”

Edwards received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. In 2008, he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.