May 18, 2022 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Two Liberty University faculty members, Dr. Gene Sattler (Department of Biology and Chemistry) and Dr. David Snead (Department of History), have been presented the Provost Award for Excellence in Research Mentorship by Liberty’s Center for Research & Scholarship (CRS).
The annual award recognizes faculty members who teach undergraduate residential courses and exemplify a commitment to best practices in teaching and mentoring undergraduate research. The center refers to research as the inquiry that harnesses knowledge, skills, and values to produce new knowledge or to make a new contribution to the discipline. It recognizes that approaches to research vary across the humanities, the creative arts, and the sciences disciplines.
The award process involves a formal student, peer, or supervisor nomination, dean support, faculty input, and student contribution. Winners are determined by the CRS Selection Committee. This year’s recipients were awarded $3,000 and were formally recognized during their department’s degree presentation ceremonies at Commencement.
Dr. Gene Sattler remains one of the most faithful faculty research mentors in the Department of Biology and Chemistry. His research program has continued through his full tenure at LU and has included serving in scientific societies, authoring multiple publications, and mentoring more than 250 students during the past decade. His primary research project has been monitoring saw-whet owl migration, which involves the organization and coordination of a substantial team of student mentees for nightly netting, data collection, and safe release of the owls. Many of his students present during LU Research Week and at Virginia Academy of Science meetings. Several of his students have been involved as co-authors in manuscript or book chapter preparation. Dr. Sattler is a prime example of long-term faculty mentoring in research, with the goal to provide students the knowledge and skills in field research that will afford them a position to be able to share the gospel of Christ throughout their careers in science.
Dr. David Snead has an unparalleled record of student research mentorship. Over the past five years, he has been a chair or reader for 22 honors theses and has served as mentor or sponsor for over 100 student research presentations. One of his undergraduate students is currently contributing to his Holocaust research, which he will present at Ariel University in Fall 2022. Many presentation opportunities for his students come through Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), a national history honor society, and student participation in regional and national PAT conferences, NCUR, the Conference of Faith and History, and LU’s Research Week. Liberty’s PAT chapter has won national best chapter awards under his leadership. Many of Snead’s students participated in Harvard’s National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) in January and several have won national first-place awards, published articles, attended graduate school, and received a Fulbright Award.