Saturday, February 4, 2023

Awesome Geology Professor Recognized for Excellence

Perhaps the only thing more rewarding than knowing you have done a job well is the acknowledgement that others know it, too.
That’s why when Cathy Grace received word she had been chosen for the Academic Advising Network’s Excellence in Advising Award, she was both surprised and gratified.

Cathy Grace
Cathy Grace

“I was very honored and humbled to learn of this award, as I know the level of commitment exhibited by my faculty colleagues,” said the lecturer in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi. “I look forward to representing the university at these competitions. I also look forward to hearing from the real ‘experts’ in advising on how I might improve interacting with my students, as advising is not my full-time gig.”
Grace’s amazing journey to honor began when she joined the UM community in 1991 as an “over-the-hill” undergraduate student worker for the Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute.
“I teach a lot,” Grace said. “I was instructor of record for over 600 students last semester and there just aren’t enough hours in the day for interactions with all of my students. So, I look forward to learning how the pros do it.”
Those who know her said Grace is truly deserving of her latest accolade.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2014 Academic Advising Network’s Excellence in Advising Award winners,” said Travis Hitchcock, assistant director for advising in UM’s Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience. “Cathy will represent the University of Mississippi for regional and national awards from the National Academic Advising Association.”
A native of Meridian, Grace received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the university in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Before becoming an instructor in 2008, she was employed as a coordinator of academic and administrative affairs and a project coordinator within the geology department and a marine projects coordinator at MMRI and the Center for Marine Resources and Technology.
Grace is a consulting and registered professional geoscientist with the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. Her principal publications include the Geological Society of America and the American Association of University Women.
Previously, Grace received the 2005 Outstanding Staff Award in the UM School of Engineering and was named Best University Professor by votes to Best of Oxford in 2013.
Her institutional and professional service included reviewing a chapter for “Exploring Geology,” reviewing three chapters in the Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology and being an invited speaker for the 2009 math and science conference at UM’s Tupelo campus.
Since 2004, Grace has delivered multiple presentations regarding geology and geological engineering in Mississippi’s public schools. She has also conducted annual Naturalist in Training seminars and served as a judge for the Lott Leadership Institute’s intra-collegiate debate competition. Grace attended the 2010 National Conference of College Student Women Leaders.
When she’s not spending quality time with her mother in Meridian, Grace enjoys being outdoors.
“I live on a small lake and enjoy fishing and paddling around, either on the little lake or taking my kayak to Sardis and fishing, floating and paddling there,” Grace said. “I also enjoy puttering around on my two acres with flowers, weeds, critters and herbs.”
– Edwin Smith, Ole Miss Communications