Congratulations to three members of our Geophysics faculty, who continue a long tradition of outstanding work on the Mines campus.  At the April Faculty Forum this week, Diane Witters and Kamini Singha each received the W.M. Keck Mentorship Award, and Andrei Swidinsky received the Outstanding Teaching Award for Geophysics.

Diane Witters


The W.M. Keck Mentorship Award recognizes extraordinary activities beyond advising.  Diane Witters, whose role on campus actually transcends department affiliation, is a much-loved and invaluable professional skills coach for students in the Center for Wave Phenomena, and has mentored graduate students across the Mines campus since 2007.  She also teaches a popular course aimed specifically at helping graduate international students adjust to the Mines campus, and to living and working–in many cases–half a world away.  Diane’s positive, caring nature lends itself well to mentoring students, and to helping them become not just better communicators, but better people.  Diane was honored for her work in developing mentoring groups for female graduate students that explore professional development topics.


Kamini Singha, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Geophysics and is the Ben Fryrear Endowed Chair for Innovation and Excellence in the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering, received her mentorship award for her support of incoming Mines faculty, which is integral to the career success of faculty members at Mines.  Kamini was also honored this month with the Mines Faculty Senate Distinguished Lecturer Award, as nominated by her peers, and gave an incredibly interesting lecture earlier in April entitled, “Between Wind and Water: A History of Humans and Hydrology in the West.”  Well done, Kamini!

Andrei Swidinsky


This is Andrei Swidinsky’s third Outstanding Teaching Award, voted on by the graduating senior class in Geophysical Engineering.  This comes as no surprise to us; Andrei is not just a prolific and gifted researcher, but is a very talented and enthusiastic teacher and advisor for both graduate and undergraduate students.  Andrei joined the Geophysics Faculty in 2013 and since then, has led the Department’s Field Camp each summer, in addition to teaching several other courses in the Department, and leading a team of graduate students engaged in electrical and electromagnetic research in applied geophysics.  Andrei will also soon become our newest Associate Professor, having been promoted by the Mines Administration for the 2019-2020 academic year.

We are extremely proud of all of their accomplishments and are fortunate to have Diane, Andrei, and Kamini as part of the Department of Geophysics.  Kudos, all!