Philip Prince, originally from Greenville, S.C., has been named Outstanding Doctoral Student in the College of Science for 2010-2011.

Prince is pursuing a Ph.D. in geomorphology in the Department of Geosciences. Specifically, his research focuses on the geomorphic landscape evolution of the Appalachian Mountains. His advisor is James Spotila, associate professor of geosciences.

“Philip has evolved into an eminent scholar who is making a unique contribution of discovery in the field of geomorphology,” Spotila said. “He is also a gifted teacher and has contributed extensively to our department’s program.”

Prince began his graduate work in the area of metamorphic petrology before shifting his focus to surface processes. He has published a manuscript in the Journal of Geomorphology and has submitted another to the Journal of Geology.

“These papers are some of the most original work that I have been a part of,” Spotila said. “This is truly amazing because Philip made the discoveries at local geographic sites. It takes a special person to make a new discovery in a well-worked-over area.”

In addition to his research talents, Prince’s teaching record is flawless. His overall student ratings as a teaching assistant in GEOS 3704 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology laboratory have consistently been 4.0 out of a maximum possible 4.0.

“Philip rescued many students who would have otherwise failed out of the lab,” Spotila said. “He inspired them and is responsible for a very tangible and significant level of enthusiasm and love of learning among our undergraduate majors today.”

“Student success if very important to me,” Prince said. “My ultimate goal is to teach students how to learn about and appreciate the natural world, and I take my responsibility as a mentor and teacher very seriously.”

Among his many accolades, Prince received the Tilman Award for Continued Excellence in Teaching twice. He won a fellowship awarded by the university’s Graduate School, the Leo and Melva Harris Endowed Scholarship in the College of Science in 2009 and 2010, and was awarded Outstanding Graduate Student Poster at the 2010 meeting of the Geological Society of America. He earned a bachelor's degree Magna Cum Laude from Furman University.

An avid outdoorsman, Prince says his interests include whitewater canoeing and rock climbing. He also hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 2006.   



Share this story