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Taylor Honored at Annual Faculty Awards Banquet

Taylor Honored at Annual Faculty Awards Banquet

Each year, faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are recognized for their contributions to the college, the university, and the impact of their teaching and research at the annual faculty awards dinner. One member of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences received an award at the 2016 Faculty Awards Banquet.

The College Marshal Award is the college equivalent of the university macebearer and is, therefore, the highest college honor awarded to a member of the faculty. The recipient of this award is selected annually by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and honors a senior faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the college and the university. The College Marshal represents the college at the spring and fall commencement ceremonies in the following calendar year.

Larry Taylor, professor of petrology and geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, started his distinguished career at UT in 1973. A year earlier, he was in the “backroom” of the Johnson Space Center during the Apollo 17 Mission advising astronauts on the moon, which included Astronaut Harrison (Jack) Schmitt, this year’s recipient of the college’s Honorary Doctorate. 

Taylor considers himself a true “lunatic” because of his continuous study of and fascination with lunar rocks and soils. His mentoring of some 60 postdoctoral fellows and 40 graduate students has played a major role in his research interests and funding. His NSF-funded research on diamonds and diamond exploration has provided his research team the opportunity to learn about the deepest portions of Earth, visiting diamond deposits around the world, particularly northern Siberia. As the director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at UT, Taylor facilitates an ongoing fascination with space and space exploration with students in science and engineering, as well as teachers of K-12 grades in Tennessee. His outreach efforts have reached an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 students and teachers. The new science planetarium and StarWatch sessions, hosted in and on the Nielsen Physics Building, are just another example of how Professor Taylor demonstrates outstanding service to the college and university and is deserving of the College Marshall Award. 

Congratulations to Professor Taylor on his achievement.

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