Socrates Citation in Honor of Carol de Wet

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Carol de Wet is a model of the teacher-scholar: excelling in the classroom, working with research students, and having a highly successful career. Her intellectual curiosity is infectious; students love her enthusiasm for teaching, but she sets high standards for them, expecting them to achieve their greatest potential. Yet this expectation is tempered with her deep sense of empathy and caring for each student.

Her contributions to the College, the profession, and women in academia are significant. She served as the first female Chair of the early Geology, Geoscience and Earth & Environment Department, was Associate Dean of the Faculty, was elected to the Professional Standards Committee twice, and holds an endowed chair. Professor de Wet assisted former President John Fry on women and family issues and sustainability. She worked with Provosts Pipes and Steiner to develop F&M’s Childbirth and Adoption Policy, and as Chair of the Fair Practices Committee, she instituted familyfriendly policies for professional staff. She brought her insight, empathy, and sense of service for the greater good to each of these roles.

Professor de Wet dedicated considerable effort to helping women in academia; her pivotal paper showing the intersection of the typical tenure timeline with a sharp increase in fetal genetic disorders with maternal age helped convince many institutions to create stop-the-clock tenure policies. She has worked with administrators at numerous colleges, the National Science Foundation and various geoscience societies to formulate family-friendly policies.

Professor de Wet started the F&M Science Teaching Internship in 2000, bringing F&M students into School District of Lancaster classrooms for hands-on science learning. She served as a Cooperman Mentor, deepening her commitment to F&M students from underserved communities.

She has been recognized professionally with the Biggs Award, the Outstanding Educator Award, and was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, among other honors. Her research is published in top journals in her field. Professor de Wet also received F&M’s Bradley R. Dewey Award for faculty scholarship, and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. This is apt because for Professor de Wet, teaching and research are inextricably linked. Students are unlikely to forget the challenge of her Sedimentology class project, and they know that a senior thesis for Professor de Wet is akin to a master’s thesis. As evidence of the quality of their work, nearly 30 F&M research students are co-authors on publications with Professor de Wet. Most have completed graduate school, and some are now professors. In her own words, “Working with my independent study students has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career. I have kept in touch with many of them and celebrate their successes as they move through their careers and/or raise a family.”

Professor de Wet’s rigorous teaching and superb scholarship led to another first at F&M—the first female science faculty member to hold the trifecta of honors: Lindback, Dewey, and an Endowed Chair. She and her husband and colleague, Andrew de Wet, raised three children, two of whom hold doctorates; the youngest is finishing his dissertation.

Professor de Wet's garden was on the Demuth Garden Tour in 2016, and her beloved flowers will be glad to see more of her in her retirement, but she will also remain an active geoscientist for the foreseeable future.