Robert T. Gast Award and Southeastern Branch Student Award

The Robert T. Gast Award (Ph.D.) and the Southeastern Branch Student Award (M.S.) are awarded to students who present the best research papers at the ESA-SEB annual meeting. The awards are based on the performance of the student’s oral presentation (see evaluation criteria below).

Each of the first place recipients of both Robert T. Gast and The Southeastern Branch Student Awards receives a check of $200 and a plaque. The second place awardees each receive a check of $100 and a certificate. At the discretion of the Student Awards Committee, honorable mention may be awarded for third place, if the number of participants is high.

Eligibility: The nominee must be a current ESA-SEB student member pursuing a graduate program leading to a Ph.D. degree (Robert T. Gast Award) or an M.S. degree (Southeastern Branch Student Award). Application for ESA student membership must have been made before January 1 of the year the award is granted. The student must not have graduated more than one year before presentation of the award at the annual Branch Meeting. An active ESA member returning for graduate study is not eligible.

Applications: The competition is announced annually and every eligible student may submit one oral presentation title. There is no limit to the number of students who can be from the same institution. A student may enter only one competition each year.

Evaluation Criteria: The student's oral presentation is evaluated by a group of qualified judges according to the following criteria:

1. Presence of the speaker, audible and clear speech, and quality of response to questions.
2. Clear easily understood introduction with strong justification and objectives for the research.
3. Quality and appropriateness of the visual aids.
4. Organization and logical flow of information.
5. Originality and rigor of the research problem and experimentation.
6. Conclusive results and appropriate summary.
7. Concludes presentation on time.

Committee Procedures: Chair works with the judges at the ESA-SEB annual meeting to determine awardees for the Robert T. Gast Award and Southeastern Branch Student Award. Judges evaluate student performance individually and a ranked list of students and associated evaluations are submitted to the Student Awards Committee Chair. Chair identifies and determines the awardees (top-ranked students) based on the averages of the judges’ scores.

Award Procedures at the ESA-SEB Annual Meeting: The awards are presented at the ESA-SEB annual meeting Awards Luncheon and the recipients are encouraged to be present to receive the award.

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