Emily M. Elliott, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will receive the 2018 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring. Emily has dedicated herself to student mentoring, interdisciplinary learning, promoting diversity, and serving as a leader in the scientific community. This dedication speaks directly to the goal of the Sulzman Award of recognizing “significant contributions as a role model and mentor for the next generation of biogeoscientists.”
Emily leads a research program that examines the tight coupling between human activities and reactive nitrogen distributions in atmospheric, terrestrial, and hydrologic systems at multiple spatial scales using stable isotope biogeochemistry. As one letter writer states, “Emily Elliott has pulled together a serious and significant scientific program…. [Her] work is decidedly technical, focused, and innovative, as well as expansive on a geographical scale…. In addition to her research accomplishments, Prof. Elliott has found the time to create novel outreach programs, a strength that attests to her leadership on a local, national, and international scale. In summary, Dr. Emily Elliott is a great candidate for the Sulzman Award—smart, caring, great publications, and a sense of responsibility for the community.”
Other letter writers speak to the personal engagement Emily brings to her mentoring activities: “It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes her such an effective advisor and mentor, but her ability to instill confidence in her students at just the right moments, to help them identify the roadblocks of research and devise strategies to get around them, and to ensure that they understand and apply the core disciplinary knowledge necessary for their research are surely among the most important factors in her success and the success of her students.” It is inspiring to see such a deserving scientist recognized for the important work of mentoring the next generation.
I am deeply honored by this recognition and am excited to help carry on Dr. Sulzman’s legacy. I would like to thank Tracey Holloway for nominating me, my letter writers for their support, the volunteers who served on the selection committee, and the Biogeosciences section for this award. I am indebted to my former and current graduate advisees whose passion, curiosity, and hard work have made mentoring such a pleasure: J. David Felix, Marion Divers, Lucy Rose, Zhongjie Yu, Justin Coughlin, Katie Redling, Becky Forgrave, and Angela Chung. I am grateful to my dissertation advisor, Dr. Grace Brush, who is the epitome of a lifelong learner, scholar, and friend, as well as to my postdoctoral advisor, Dr. Carol Kendall, whose enthusiasm for isotopes hooked me in our very first interactions. I have benefited greatly from the inspiration provided by mentoring and leadership training programs offered by the Earth Science Women’s Network, Forward to Professorship, Science Ambassadors, and many breakfast dates with Jeanne VanBriesen. A special thanks to my army of supporters including my family, friends, and especially Daniel Bain.
—Emily M. Elliott, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.