University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Department Outstanding Service Award

Lawrence De Geest (PhD Candidate)

We are delighted to be able to award Lawrence our first Outstanding Service Award. Lawrence joined us from River Forest, Illinois, but is originally from Belgium. Lawrence has made tremendous and enduring contributions to the Department during his tenure here, especially over the past two years. Lawrence has long worked as a teaching assistant for both environmental economics and natural resource economics with his dissertation advisor, Dr. John Stranlund. During summer 2014, he developed an online environment economics course and taught the course that summer and during summer 2015. Lawrence developed the online course materials, a video introduction and managed all aspects of that online course. During fall 2015, Lawrence stepped forward and taught three sections of the new first year seminars for majors in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Lawrence worked with the SBS Dean’s office to develop materials for the first year seminars and brought a number of Resource Economics issues forward to expose student to the Department.  Lawrence has also worked with the SBS Dean’s office to analyze teaching data important to current strategic planning for the college and departments. During the first months of 2016, Lawrence organized graduate student meetings with our environmental economics faculty candidates and assembled graduate student feedback on each candidate. This spring, we faced tough allocation decisions given faculty sabbatical and research leaves. Lawrence stepped up again to help the Department and agreed to teach our large lecture section of environmental economics. Lawrence has contributed to the Department’s teaching mission above and beyond what could be expected. He has accepted teaching of small online courses, small first year seminar courses and our large lecture environmental economics course. Lawrence has an outstanding teaching dossier that he has developed and we have been the beneficiaries of his willingness to contribute. This spring, he is providing service to his peers having organized PhD students to work together presenting and advancing their dissertation research.  Thank you Lawrence for your many valuable contributions!