M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

LYNWOOD W. SWANSON AWARDS

The Murdock Trust is pleased to announce the creation of two annual awards: the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award and the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award as part of the Murdock College Science Research Program (MCSRP) and the Trust’s vision to “Support the Future of Undergraduate Research at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions in the Pacific Northwest.

The awards are open to invited nominations from private undergraduate institutions within the Pacific Northwest, encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The “Swanson Award” is intended to recognize a senior faculty exemplar with an established, productive, and nationally recognized research program, while the “Swanson Promise Award” is aimed at recognizing a junior faculty who has demonstrated an exception potential in establishing an exemplary, productive, and sustainable research program. The latter award is intended to honor a junior professor with less than 10 years experience as a faculty member.

Lyn Swanson

A panel of national experts evaluates the nominations, and the criteria for these awards are focused on research accomplishments that include the following.

  • Discovery research accomplishments with national recognition
  • Substantial engagement of undergraduate students
  • Recognized leadership in developing and promoting research at undergraduate institutions
  • Evidence of continuing growth in productive research

The awards honor the longtime work of Dr. Lynwood Swanson, who recently retired after serving as a Trustee at the Murdock Trust 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.

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Meet the 2020 Award Recipients:

2020 Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Daniel A. Burgard, professor of chemistry, University of Puget Sound
“For his internationally recognized work in wastewater-based epidemiology, mentorship of undergraduate student researchers, and ability to tackle real-world drug policy questions with a novel approach”

2020 Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Anna Ritz, associate professor of biology, Reed College
“For her computational contributions in molecular systems biology, for creating an undergraduate computational biology program, and for her dedication to undergraduate mentorship.”

Receiving the 2020 Swanson Award honorable mention: 

  • Dr. Suzy C. P. Renn, Professor of Biology, Reed College 
  • Dr. Greg Hermann, Professor of Biology, Lewis and Clark College

Receiving the 2020 Swanson Promise Award honorable mention: 

  • Dr. Rachel Pepper, Associate Professor William D. and Flora McCormick Chair in Biophysics, University of Puget Sound

Meet the 2019 Award Recipients:

2019 Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Dean Waldow, Professor of Chemistry, Pacific Lutheran University
“For exemplary research in polymer chemistry with applications to real-world challenges and as an inspiring mentor to scores of undergraduate students for over 25 years.”

2019 Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Alison Crocker, Assistant Professor of Physics, Reed College
“For researching the relationship between star formation and galaxy structure, and for directly involving undergraduate students in this work.”  

Receiving the 2019 Swanson Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. Daniel Burgard, Professor of Chemistry, University of Puget Sound
  • Dr. Emma Coddington, Associate Professor of Biology, Willamette University

Receiving the 2019 Swanson Promise Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. Katja Mayer, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Willamette University

Meet the 2018 Award Recipients:

2018 Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Kraig A. Wheeler, Hugh W. Johnston Professor of Chemistry, Whitworth University
“For research and innovation in applied crystallography, national leadership in undergraduate faculty-student collaborative research and inter-institutional science collaboration, and mentoring of future scientists.”

2018 Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Moira I. Gresham, Associate Professor of Physics, Whitman College
“For her influential work in theoretical particle physics and cosmology alongside her dedication to teaching and mentoring undergraduates.”  

Receiving the 2018 Swanson Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. Andreas Madlung, William L. McCormick Professor of Biology at the University of Puget Sound
  • Dr. Louis Kuo, Professor of Chemistry at Lewis and Clark College
  • Dr. Douglas Juers, Professor of Physics at Whitman College

Receiving the 2018 Swanson Promise Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. David Latimer, Associate Professor of Physics at University of Puget Sound

Meet the 2017 Award Recipients:

Dr. William Mackie

2017 Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award:
Dr. William A. Mackie, Professor of Physics, Linfield College
“For exemplary research in electron emission physics and technology, publishing 50 peer-reviewed articles, mentoring 150 Linfield College undergraduate research students, and establishing a successful company.”

Dr. Tamily Weissman

2017 Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Tamily A. Weissman, Associate Professor of Biology, Lewis and Clark College
“For her dedication as an innovative researcher, inspiring leader, and passionate educator whose cutting-edge, high-impact research program engages undergraduates and inspires excitement for neuroscience.”

Receiving the 2017 Swanson Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. Suzy C. P. Renn, Professor of Biology at Reed College
  • Dr. Ginger S. Withers, Dr. Robert F. Welty Associate Professor of Biology at Whitman College

Receiving the 2017 Swanson Promise Award honorable mention:

  • Dr. Andy Woo-Joong Kim, Associate Professor of Physics at Seattle University

Meet the 2016 Award Recipients:

Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Mary Alberg, Professor of Physics and Arline Bannan Chair of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Seattle University
For her work in theoretical nuclear physics of mesons and baryons, mentorship of undergraduate student researchers at Seattle University, and founding of the Anacapa Society.

Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award:
Dr. Sarah Schaack, Associate Professor of Biology, Reed College
For researching the nature of mutations, particularly those caused by mobile DNA, and for deeply involving her undergraduate students in this work.

Receiving the 2016 Swanson Award honorable mention:  

  • Dr. Louis Kuo, Professor of Chemistry, Lewis and Clark College 
  • Dr. Ginger Withers, Dr. Robert F. Welty Associate Professor of Biology, Whitman College 
  • Dr. Donald Powers, Professor of Biology, George Fox University 

Receiving the 2016 Swanson Promise Award honorable mention:  

  • Dr. Andy Woo-Joong Kim, Associate Professor of Physics, Seattle University 
  • Dr. Jaime Goode, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, The College of Idaho 
  • Dr. Maximilian Schlosshauer, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Portland 

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