Amy Pruden, W. Thomas Rice Professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, has received the Graduate School’s 2017 Faculty Outstanding Mentor Award.
Sponsored by the Graduate School, the new award, to be presented annually, recognizes excellence in mentoring graduate students. Students nominate the recipients, and one professor from each college is eligible to receive the award.
Pruden’s work is at the cross-section of environmental microbiology and environmental engineering, addressing such challenges as opportunistic pathogens and antibiotic resistance in drinking water, recycled water, and wastewater, and best management practices for preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance from agricultural sources. Her research group incorporates next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to track microbiomes through environmental systems in order to inform engineering designs that protect public health.
Pruden’s students called her a role model for her research and for her mentorship of students and colleagues across the program. They said she inspires them to uphold the ethical responsibility of practicing good science and meaningful work. Students said she pushes them to reach beyond their goals and to develop strengths they may not have recognized. Students praised her patience, scientific acumen, vision, and moral courage as much as her teaching and mentorship abilities. They also said they value her example of science aimed at benefitting the public.
Pruden earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati.