From what he has learned about Paul Vandall, says earth and environmental sciences professor Phil Graniero, Jeff Mastronardi is the perfect recipient of an award in his memory.
“When I first met Jeff, I was quickly struck by his personal need to understand why things work the way the do, and not just how,” Dr. Graniero says. “He had a desire to put the natural-physical and human-social aspects of environmental problems into a bigger context.”
Mastronardi received the Vandall Memorial Award on Thursday, at a reception honouring top students in inter-faculty programs. The award commemorates a long-time UWindsor professor who helped to establish its geography programs. It grants $1,000 annually to the graduating student with the highest academic standing in the environmental studies program.
The possibility of winning the honour helped to motivate him in his studies, says Mastronardi.
“I heard about the award earlier in my career and I knew I could qualify for it,” he says. “It was a really good motivator.”
Thursday’s event recognized dozens of students in inter-faculty programs – arts and science, forensic science, or environmental studies – who received awards and scholarships or qualified for academic honour rolls.
First-year arts and science student Amanda Hawkins earned an entrance scholarship as well as an Outstanding Scholars award. She says she appreciated the event.
“I really liked it. It’s nice to get some recognition,” Hawkins says. “I know a lot of other programs don’t do this.”