Hajek honored with Slingerland Early Career Professorship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Elizabeth Hajek, assistant professor of geosciences in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was recently honored with the Slingerland Early Career Professorship. This professorship was created through a gift from Roland P. and Debra C. Sauermann and named in honor of Rudy L. Slingerland, professor of geology in Penn State’s Department of Geosciences. Hajek works primarily in sedimentology, earth-surface processes and basis analysis. She is recognized with the Slingerland Professorship for her early career achievements in teaching, research and service. The appointment is for a three-year period.

“Elizabeth is a very active and productive part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences,” said Dean Bill Easterling. “This early career professorship recognizes her current achievements and outstanding accomplishments, plus it gives the college an opportunity to reward a promising faculty member moving forward in her career.”

Hajek joined Penn State in 2010 after earning her doctorate in geology from the University of Wyoming and participating in postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota. Her current research uses the geologic record to reconstruct past landscapes and the dynamics of sedimentation, especially in river systems.

“It’s very exciting to be able to pursue this work at Penn State,” said Hajek. “The Slingerland Early Career Professorship is a testament to the strong legacy that Rudy Slingerland has cultivated and also the commitment and support of our alumni.”

Department head Lee Kump said of Hajek, “Liz brings a high level of enthusiasm to her research and commitment to students, both undergraduate and graduate, working with her in the classroom, laboratory and in the field. Her work has great relevance to oil and gas accumulation, and students benefit from the close connections she has with those industries.”

Hajek said that she plans to utilize the funds from the professorship to enhance student research opportunities, including providing support for travel and new equipment for fieldwork and sediment analysis. “Funds associated with the Slingerland Early Career Professorship will help get students to great outcrops and improve our ability to collect detailed information about ancient landscapes, she said. "The flexibility of this funding will allow me to respond to my group’s research needs as they evolve over the next few years.”

Faculty support is a priority of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State's alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University's tradition of quality. The campaign's top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State's history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

The Penn State Faculty Endowment Challenge offers donors an opportunity to leverage matches from the University for gifts creating new Early Career Professorships in any of Penn State’s academic units. For more information, visit http://giveto.psu.edu/s/1218/index.aspx?sid=1218&gid=1&pgid=724

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Last Updated January 09, 2015