Wysocki to receive CALS career teaching award

By: Patrick Gillespie

Mark Wysocki, a stalwart of the atmospheric sciences program at Cornell, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Louis and Edith Edgerton Career Teaching Award.

“This is the highest teaching award in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” said Geoffrey Abers, chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “It honors a lifetime achievement in providing outstanding teaching and advising students. Mark clearly exemplifies commitment to students over his career; the honor is very deserved.”

The Edgerton Career Teaching Award is the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ premier teaching award as it honors a meritorious faculty member of the college who has provided outstanding teaching and advising to students throughout their long and continuous career in CALS.

“Although one person is being recognized, there are many who contributed to this award, especially the students,” said Wysocki, senior lecturer in meteorology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Wysocki joined the CALS faculty in 1988. He received his Bachelor of Science in astronomy and physics from the University of Arizona in 1976 and a Master of Science in meteorology from Cornell University in 1988.

His main interest lies in teaching, with an emphasis on the practical applications of meteorological concepts. Wysocki is responsible for classroom instruction in 10 courses for science and non-science majors, and he is the state climatologist for New York.

“When I got to Cornell, I knew I would be learning from some of the best professors in the country, but I didn’t know they would soon become mentors and friends,” said Elisa Raffa ’15, meteorologist and climate journalist for Queen City News/ FOX Charlotte in North Carolina. “There is truly no limit to the amount of good I can say about Mr. Wysocki. I would not be where I am today without him. As a student, Mr. Wysocki taught us all the basics of the atmosphere, and I still use my binders of notes in my professional career, nearly 10 years later.”

“In addition to his fun and insightful lectures as well as his world-class expertise in weather and climate, Wysocki is always, always there for his students,” said Joseph Lee ’14, a data scientist at E Source, a consulting company for electric utilities. “His office door is always open, and students would go in and ask him questions all the time, sometimes forming a short line outside his office. Wysocki was my undergraduate thesis adviser, which helped start my research career. Back then, Wysocki and I had long, fruitful discussions on my undergraduate research project. His guidance was essential and invaluable for a young researcher like me.”

“The review committee was very impressed with Mark’s efforts in support of teaching and learning in the college and his commitment to students,” said Sue Merkel, recently retired director of CALS’ Office of Curriculum Development and Instructional Support. “This award could not have gone to a more deserving individual, and we are thrilled to be able to acknowledge Mark’s contributions.”

Wysocki has received the 2001 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2011 Kendal S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award, the Professor of Merit for 2015, and the 2017 Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award from the American Meteorological Society. He also has been recognized with the Merrill Presidential Scholar Outstanding Educator Award three times.

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