Dean emeritus Hosler recounts his 75 years at Penn State at EMS awards banquet

Annual Wilson Awards Banquet celebrates faculty and student accomplishments

Patty Satalia, senior producer and host for WPSU-TV and FM, interviewing Charles L. Hosler, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences dean emeritus and Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, about his 75 years at Penn State. Credit: Patricia Craig / Penn StateCreative Commons

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) held its annual Wilson Awards Banquet, the college’s annual celebration of faculty and student accomplishments, on Sunday, April 17, 2016. This year’s banquet also honored Charles L. Hosler, EMS dean emeritus and Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, for his 75 years at Penn State.

Patty Satalia, senior producer and host for WPSU-TV and FM, conducted an interview with Hosler that will be aired on a future episode of "Take Note," a weekly community affairs radio program that features in-depth interviews with central Pennsylvania newsmakers.

During the conversation, Hosler recounted memories of his 75 years at Penn State. Hosler arrived at Penn State in 1942 and spent his entire professional career here, holding every academic position from instructor to professor to head of the Department of Meteorology, dean of EMS; senior vice president for research, dean of The Graduate School, acting executive vice president and provost before retiring in 1991. 

He shared his perspective on some of the highlights he feels shaped and influenced Penn State’s place in the world today.

He was introduced by John Dutton, dean and professor of meteorology emeritus, who served as dean of the college for 16 years before his retirement in 2002.

After the conversation with Hosler, Dean William Easterling presented more than 50 awards to students and faculty.

This year’s recipients are listed below.

Celebrating Excellence in Research Awards

Wilson Award for Excellence in Research The Wilson Award for Excellence in Research is the college’s highest research honor. This award is given in recognition of scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. The contribution may be original basic research or may represent the application of knowledge in the creation of a process or device useful to society. This year’s recipients are:

  • Jerry Harrington, professor of meteorology
  • Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering

Wilson Research Initiation GrantThe Wilson Research Initiation Grant is intended to jump start the research of a new tenure track faculty member. This year’s recipients are:

  • Anthony Didlake Jr., assistant professor of meteorology, selected for his proposal “Examining Radar Data Collected from Unmanned Aircraft to Analyze Hurricanes”
  • Tess Russo, assistant professor of geosciences, selected for her proposal “Quantifying Nitrogen Transformations on Drought-impacted Floodplains”

E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Faculty FellowshipThe E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Faculty Fellowship was created to support faculty of exceptional creativity, who propose highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in the earth, energy, and material sciences. This year’s recipient is:

  • Chiara Lo Prete, assistant professor of energy economics, selected for her proposal “Complementarity-based Equilibrium Models for the Analysis of Market Power in Electric Distribution Networks”

George H. Deike, Jr. Research GrantThe George H. Deike, Jr. Research Grant is awarded in support of an innovative research project. This year’s recipient is:

  • Timothy Bralower, professor of geosciences, selected for his proposal “Impact of Ocean Acidification on Pteropod Microstructures”

Celebrating Excellence in Teaching Awards

Wilson Award for Excellence in TeachingThis award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching represented by performance in a single course of instruction or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. The contribution may represent application of knowledge in a traditional classroom setting, field course or online education. This year’s recipient is:

  • Elizabeth Hajek, assistant professor of geosciences

G. Montgomery and Marion Hall Mitchell Award for Innovative TeachingThis award was created in 1998 to recognize faculty members in the college who use innovative teaching techniques in their courses. 

This year’s recipients are:

  • Eugene Clothiaux, professor of meteorology
  • Jon Nese, senior lecturer, associate head, Undergraduate Program in Meteorology

George H. K. Schenck Teaching Assistant AwardThis award was created to honor and to recognize a graduate student in the College who has performed their responsibility as a graduate teaching assistant in an exemplary manner. This year’s recipient is:

  • Qian Sum, doctoral candidate in petroleum and natural gas engineering

Celebrating Excellence in Service Awards

Wilson Award for Outstanding Service

Created in 1999, the Wilson Service Award honors exceptional achievement in service and is given in recognition of meritorious service represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. This year’s recipient is:

  • Brent Yarnal, professor of geography

Faculty Mentoring AwardThe Faculty Mentoring Award honors a faculty member who invests in the success of others, whether it is a new faculty member, a student or a staff member. This award recognizes the generous contribution of time and energy it takes to mentor in teaching, research and service. This year’s recipient is:

  • Lorraine Dowler, associate professor of geography

Faculty Advising AwardCreated in 2013, the Faculty Advising Award honors exceptional achievement in the advising of undergraduate students; the contribution may represent any facet of strong academic advising, including educational planning, exposure to research opportunities, identification of internships and other aspects of advising. This year’s recipient is:

  • Peter Heaney, professor of geosciences and associate head, Undergraduate Programs in Geosciences

25-Year Service Awards

  • Michael Arthur, professor of geosciences
  • Sarma Pisupati, professor energy and mineral engineering
  • Alan Taylor, professor of geography


William Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences, and Paul Robertson, who established the Paul F. Robertson Award for EMS Breakthrough of the Year. Credit: Patricia Craig / Penn StateCreative Commons

Paul F. Robertson Award for EMS Breakthrough of the YearThis award was created in 2012 with support from a generous gift by EMS alumnus Paul F. Robertson. This award is given for singular research or teaching achievements communicated in one or a small series of articles, reports or presentations. Qualifying breakthroughs may be in research or in the scholarship of teaching. This year’s recipients is:

  • Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences

Charles L. Hosler Alumni Scholar MedalThe Charles L. Hosler Alumni Scholar Medal was established in 1992 to recognize the achievements of alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the development of science through research, teaching, or administrative leadership with emphasis given to those who have earned doctoral degrees. This year’s recipient is:

  • Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Michigan Technological University


Gladys Snyder Junior Faculty GrantsThe Gladys Snyder Junior Faculty Grants are given for the development of new courses or the improvement of current offerings, for travel to professional meetings, to broaden the studies of junior faculty members and/or to recognize significant contributions in research efforts.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Justine Blanford, research associate in geography, for her proposal “Sensing Our Environment: Connecting the Digital World with the Real World”
  • Kimberly Del Bright, Giles Writer-in-Residence, for her proposal “Using Narratives of Climate Change in the Peruvian Andes and Coastal Mountains of Southeast Alaska to Improve Communication Skills”
  • Erin DiMaggio, research associate in geosciences, for her proposal “Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry Investigation of Tephras from the Ledi-Geraru Paleontological Site in Afar, Ethiopia”
  • Hamid Emami-Meybod, assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering, for his proposal “Coal Mine Gas: Clean Energy for the World: Research and Education”
  • Fritz Kessler, associate professor in the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, for his proposal “Map Projection Use in World Atlases (1850-2000): Rise of the Pseudocylindricals”
  • Joel Landry, assistant professor of environmental and energy economics, for his proposal “What Are the Economic and Emissions Impacts of New Climate Regulations on Big Trucks?”

Student Achievement Awards

William Grundy Haven Memorial Award

Established in 1950 by William G. Haven to honor the memory of his son, this award recognizes excellence in scholarly writing. This year’s recipients are:

  • First Place Winner: Michael Cavazza, petroleum and natural gas engineering
  • Second Place Winner: Cecilia Cullen, geosciences
  • Third Place Winner: Tyler Farnan, petroleum and natural gas engineering

Jay M. and Katherine DeFinis Award for Outstanding Student Leadership

Established in 2005, this award honors outstanding student leadership abilities within the student organizations of the college. This year’s recipient is:

  • Margaret Norton, geography

Ellen Steidle Achievement Award

Established in 1953 by Dean Edward Steidle to honor the memory of his wife, this award recognizes students who have been active in advancing the welfare and improvement of the college. This year’s recipients are:

  • Senior: Ryan Breton, meteorology
  • Junior: Vivek Thomas, petroleum and natural gas engineering

Edward Steidle Memorial Scholar Award

Established in 1981 to honor Edward Steidle, Dean of the College from 1929 to 1953, this award broadens the educational opportunities for EMS students. This year’s recipient is:

  • Ramya Gurunathan, materials science and engineering

GEMS Diamond Award

Established in 2006, the GEMS Diamond Award grants a lifetime membership in the Penn State Alumni Association to a graduating student who is found to have the most well-rounded involvement and achievement in both the university and community environment during their student experience while in the college. This year’s recipient is:

  • Ryan Breton, meteorology

Student Marshals

The student marshal designation is given to the most accomplished graduate overall. This year we honored two student marshals and they are:

  • Kyle Johnson, bachelor of science in environmental systems engineering, who achieved a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average and will graduate with highest distinction
  • Ramya Gurunathan, bachelor of science in materials science and engineering, minor in nanotechnology and Schreyer Scholar, who graduate with highest distinction

Earth and Mineral Sciences Academy for Global Experience (EMSAGE)

Established in 2009, the EMSAGE program helps students develop as communicators and collaborators and prepares them to be effective leaders in their disciplines and responsible global citizens. Students may aspire to EMSAGE Laureate status by achieving notable success in scholarship, service, global literacy and experiential learning. This year’s recipients are:

  • Andree Andree, mining engineering
  •  Anne Balogh, meteorology
  • Evelyn Bateman, energy engineering
  • Angela Bertagni, geosciences
  • Ryan Breton, meteorology
  • Ryan Creedon, meteorology
  • Faith Eherts, meteorology
  • Joshua Gugel, meteorology
  • Amanda Hendrix, meteorology
  • Mohamad Kanbari, energy engineering
  • Nicholas Kolesar, energy business and finance
  • Shelby Miller, environmental systems engineering
  • Elsa Yi Sa Ng, petroleum and natural gas engineering
  • Margaret Norton, geography
  • William Rosenow, geobiology
  • Jeffrey Schmidt, meteorology
  • Matthew Strauser, meteorology
  • Maximilian Vido, meteorology

The Wilson Awards Banquet is named in honor of Matthew and Anne Wilson who through their bequests are the major benefactors of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Their endowment provides the college with support for its well-known student loan program and a number of faculty and student awards and scholarships. Matthew Wilson graduated from Penn State in 1918 with a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering.

Last Updated May 11, 2016