Dr. Eric Schott Receives Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
To be recognized by your colleagues and peers is an incredible honor, but to be recognized by your students, those who learn from you, rely on you and look up to you, is something entirely different. During the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Commencement on May 24th, graduate student Ana Windle stood at the podium and announced the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. Chosen by the graduate student body, IMET’s Dr. Eric Schott stepped forward.
Dr. Schott is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, IMET. Dr. Schott’s research focuses on the health of aquatic systems, specifically the discovery and analysis of estuarine pathogens in shellfish such as oysters and blue crabs.
In addition to performing research, writing grant proposals, and advising three graduate students, Dr. Schott mentors interns, volunteers, and visiting students in his laboratory. In keeping with his interest to support new scientists, Dr. Schott has taken on two additional mentorship roles in the last year. He will be taking the reins from Dr. Rosemary Jagus and serving as the new Project Director and Principal Investigator for the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, LMRCSC program, as well as the Director for the IMET Summer Internship Program. As you can see, Dr. Schott serves as a mentor in multiple capacities. To see the true extent of his outstanding mentorship let’s dive a little deeper.
As an Associate Research Professor, Dr. Schott serves as an advisor for three graduate students, two PhD students from China and Puerto Rico and one master’s student from Nigeria. As a graduate student advisor, he helps his students throughout the process of designing, developing, researching, writing, reviewing, and publishing their dissertations. In addition, he welcomes volunteers, interns, and visiting scholars to his lab and assists them with various research projects.
Dr. Schott has stepped forward as the new UMCES Project Director and Principal Investigator of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC). This is a program supported by a grant from NOAA EPP to a consortium of seven institutions, of which IMET has been a member for 20 years. The LMRCSC program provides support for graduate students from underrepresented groups in marine and environmental science. The goal of this program is to “prepare a diverse student body for careers in marine and fisheries sciences.” As Project Director, Dr. Schott serves as an ex-officio advisor for UMCES graduate students supported by the LMRCSC, alongside the graduate student’s academic advisor.
Adding to this impressive list, Dr. Schott has taken on the role of Director for the IMET Summer Internship Program. The program is a paid nine-week internship for students from backgrounds underrepresented in marine and environmental sciences. As Director, Dr. Schott works with several IMET faculty and graduate students to create, select and match interns to research projects in IMET’s labs. He also organizes and plans various seminars, trainings, and workshops throughout the summer, including weekly Friday sessions that bring the interns different professional and personal skills activities. This year, after 2 years without in-person internships, he even accompanied the interns on their first Baltimore Metro commute to IMET ! Not satisfied to have only an administrative role in the internship program, Dr. Schott is also mentoring two interns, with the assistance of his laboratory members.
All of us at IMET are extremely grateful for Dr. Schott’s commitment to students and science. Always willing to spare a moment to help an emerging scientist, Dr. Schott is doing an incredible job passing on his knowledge, humility, and work ethic. Congratulations and thank you for all that you do!