AAPG Foundation Names 2017 Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award Winner

Hendratta Ali, associate professor of geosciences at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Hays, Kan., has been named the recipient of this year's American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation's Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award (IGEA).

"I am very humbled and honored to be selected as this year's AAPG Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award recipient,” Ali said. "This is a testament to the phenomenal group of students that I have the privilege to work with, the fantastic mentors I have in my life and my supportive family.

"I have learned a lot from people I work for, my students and truly believe that we have all grown together to be better professionals. I thank the AAPG Foundation and all organizations and societies that offer opportunities and support geoscience education.”

Ali has been teaching geoscience courses at FHSU since 2010 and is an active member of AAPG.

In addition to teaching a wide range of geoscience courses at FHSU, Ali spends time mentoring her students outside of the classroom and encourages active participation in the geoscience community. Her students have earned eight research awards at professional conferences under her mentoring and guidance. Additionally, she was awarded "FHSU Phenomenal Woman” in 2015 for breaking gender stereotypes, taking action on campus and leading by example.

"I can say that as an early career geoscientist, she has achieved more with her students in the last seven years than many more established geoscientists have in a lifetime,” said Estella Atekwana, colleague and Regents Professor of Geology at Oklahoma State University. "She is passionate about her students, the integration of science and education, and transfer of knowledge to the younger generation (AAPG's future), including high school students in the United States and in several countries in Africa.”

The honor, determined by the AAPG's IGEA Committee and led by chair Carol Wicks, is presented annually to a "college or university professor who has shown outstanding academic leadership and works to inspire the future of geoscience.” The honor comes with a $1,000 prize from the AAPG Foundation.

Ali will receive her award during the 2017 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, April 2-5.

The AAPG Foundation, established in 1967, is a permanent non-profit foundation supporting educational and scientific activities in the field of geology. The Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award honors that intention by presenting this honor to a pillar of geoscience education – university geoscience professors. The Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award is one of two Excellence in Teaching awards offered by the Foundation.