Congratulations to Bärbel Hönisch for winning the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award from Columbia University. The Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award was created in 2005 by Gerry Lenfest (LAW’58, HON’09), a trustee emeritus whose total donations of more than $100 million place him among Columbia’s most generous benefactors. His gift for the teaching awards is to honor exceptional instruction and scholarship, with a special emphasis on the mentoring of students in the arts and sciences. Each Lenfest winner receives $25,000 each year for three years.
In addition to her research accomplishments and scholarship, Bärbel has had spectacular success in initiating and maintaining, year after year, the highest enrollment course offered by the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, EESC 1030, Introduction to Oceanography. This course, currently starting at 8:40 AM, many hours before most undergraduates are otherwise motivated to rise, has achieved iconic status among undergraduates – window-shoppers and Earth Science majors alike. It clearly fulfills a strong desire among Columbia students for more information about the natural world, past, present and future. The evidence of Bärbel’s exceptional teaching skills and dedication to education based on this achievement is supported by numerous other data, most notably her 2013 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Excellence in Mentoring Award, for which she was chosen from a highly competitive field nominated by Lamont graduate students and postdocs.
Professor Barbel Honisch is the fifth Earth and Environmental Sciences professor to be honored with a Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award, joining Professors Peter Kelemen (2013-14), Paul Olsen (2010-11), Steven Goldstein (2009-2010) and Peter deMenocal (2007-08).