Collins Receives Ampco-Pittsburgh Advising Award

Issue Date: 
January 26, 2015

Mark Collins, a lecturer and coordinator for environmental studies in the Department of Geology and Planetary Science, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Ampco-Pittsburgh Prize for Excellence in Advising.

Mark Collins

The annual $4,000 cash award recognizes faculty members in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences for outstanding academic advising of undergraduate students. The honor was established in 2007 by the Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation.

Mark Abbott, professor and chair of the Department of Geology and Planetary Science, said in his recommendation letter that Collins spends countless hours with students—many of whom are seeking academic guidance as well as life advice or assistance in navigating their career planning. 

“Simply put—he is there for his students at all times and it is clear from the respect they give him that this is greatly appreciated. … no matter the concern, each student merits his full time and attention. He is truly available to all and will do his best to provide an answer. If he himself does not have the answer, he will follow through and put the student in touch with someone who does,” Abbott wrote.

Collins finds suitable internships for every student in the program, Abbott noted, adding that he has guided and written letters of support for most of the department’s eight winners of Fulbright, Udall, and Truman awards during the past 10 years. 

Collins joined the department as its first coordinator of environmental studies in 1999. He oversees all students majoring in Environmental Studies and also teaches two sections of the department’s writing-intensive courses.