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Murdock Trust Honors Northwest Educators and Students

Linfield and Lewis and Clark Professors Headline Awards Given for Outstanding Efforts in Science Research and Education

This week, the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust announced the winners of two prestigious awards in the field of scientific research and education. Dr. William A. Mackie, Professor of Physics at Linfield College, has won the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award. Dr. Tamily A. Weissman, Associate Professor of Biology at Lewis and Clark College has won the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award.

Both awards were established in 2016 to honor the contributions and career of noted educator, entrepreneur, and former trustee, Dr. Lynwood Swanson, upon his retirement from the Murdock Trust. The “Swanson Award” recognizes a senior faculty exemplar with an established, productive and nationally recognized research program, while the “Swanson Promise Award” highlights a junior faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional potential in these areas through early research and work with students.

“Dr. Swanson has a deep passion for science, how it can inspire students and how it can solve real world challenges,” said Steve Moore, executive director, Murdock Trust. “These two awards bring to light shining examples of educators in the Pacific Northwest who are investing in our collective future through their research and their mentorship of students. We are so proud to be able to honor Dr. Swanson’s legacy and recognize the outstanding work of Dr. Mackie and Dr. Weissman.”

Dr. William Mackie will receive a $15,000 cash prize as part of his award and Dr. Tamily Weissman will receive a $7,500 cash prize. A portion of each financial award goes directly to the winner while a portion is earmarked to fund student research and supplies.

Both awards were formally presented at the 2017 Murdock College Science Research Program (MCSRP) Conference in Spokane, WA. The Murdock Trust also honored nearly two dozen college students for research presentations delivered at the event. They include:

  • The 2017 John Van Zytveld Award in the Physical Sciences: Gabe Juul, Meghan Feldman, and S.J. van Enk (Whitman College)
  • The 2017 John Van Zytveld Award in the Life Sciences: Nicholas Bratt (Whitworth University)
  • 2017 Murdock Poster Prizes:
    • Ecology-Evolution-Biodiversity: Sam Levy, Peter Reinhardt (Seattle University)
    • Ecology-Evolution-Biodiversity: Isabelle Cisneros (George Fox University)
    • Molecular and Cell Biology: Vanessa Ramirez, Elaine Wong (Central Washington University)
    • Molecular and Cell Biology: Simran Handa (Lewis and Clark College)
    • Neuroscience-Psychology-Exercise Science: Andre Zamani (University of Puget Sound)
    • Biochemistry: Hung Nguyen, Tia Uehara, Blessing Cao (Pacific University)
    • Organic Chemistry: Annie Stefanides (Whitman College)
    • Analytical-Inorganic-Physical Chemistry: Zach Armstrong (University of Puget Sound)
    • Analytical-Inorganic-Physical Chemistry: Joshua Tsang (Reed College)
    • Environmental Science-Geology: Natasha Dacic (The College of Idaho)
    • Microbiology: Laurisa Ankley, Katherine Camp (Eastern Washington University)
    • Physics and Engineering: Thomas Dale, Travis Widmer (Whitworth University)

For more information about the MCSRP Conference and how the Murdock Trust invests in science education and research, please visit www.murdocktrust.org.

About the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and the web.

About Dr. Lynwood Swanson

After starting his career as a professor and administrator at Linfield College, Dr. Swanson moved to Oregon Graduate Institute before co-founding FEI, a world-leader in electron optics and focused ion beam technologies in scanning and transmission electron microscopies. In conjunction with his extensive career in science education and research, Dr. Swanson served as a tireless advocate for these fields as a trustee for thirty years.