The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has announced the winners of its new annual scientific research awards. The awards are open to private undergraduate institutions within the Pacific Northwest, encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
The awards honor the longtime work of Dr. Lynwood Swanson, who recently retired after serving as a Trustee for 30 years. Dr. Swanson began his career as a professor at Linfield College, before moving his research to Oregon Graduate Institute. In 1971, he co-founded FEI, a world-leader in electron optics and focused ion beam technologies in scanning and transmission electron microscopies.
“We are pleased to launch these two new research awards in honor of Dr. Lynwood Swanson: professor, scientist, researcher, entrepreneur, longtime Murdock trustee and our good friend,” said Dr. Steve Moore, Executive Director of the Trust. “Through these awards we endeavor to shine a light on the important research happening at private undergraduate institutions across the region,” added Moore.
The first award, the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award, honors a professor whose work has gained national recognition, and demonstrated leadership in engaging undergraduate students and promoting research at their institution. The panel of experts from across the U.S. selected Dr. Mary Alberg, Professor of Physics and Arline Bannan Chair of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Seattle University. Dr. Alberg’s work in theoretical nuclear physics of mesons and baryons, her mentorship of undergraduate student researchers and her founding of the Anacapa Society caused her to stand out among the nominees. $15,000 is awarded through a combination of cash, student stipends and support for supplies.
The second award, the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award, honors an emerging professor with less than 10-years experience. Dr. Sarah Schaack, Associate Professor of Biology at Reed College was chosen for her research in the nature of mutations, particularly those caused by mobile DNA, and for deeply involving her undergraduate research students. $7,500 is awarded through a combination of cash, student stipends and support for supplies.
The awards were announced at this year’s Murdock College Science Research Conference, November 4-5 in Spokane, Washington and co-hosted by Gonzaga University.