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ODU's Savitzky Wins National Service Award

Alan Savitzky, professor of biological sciences at Old Dominion University and an expert on reptiles, has won the Robert K. Johnson Service Award given by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH).

The award winner is the subject of an announcement in the spring 2008 issue of the society's journal, Copeia. The photo accompanying the story shows Savitzky holding a Japanese yamakagashi, a snake that has been the focus of recent studies by Savitzky and his colleagues.

Savitzky is a past president of ASIH. He also served on the organization's executive committee and Board of Governors, and chaired the Long Range Planning and Policy Committee. Johnson, for which the service award is named, also was a member of the ASIH Board of Governors who was active in policymaking for the society.

"This distinguished record of service is accompanied by an equally distinguished record of scientific accomplishment," stated the Savitzky citation in Copeia. "He has published over 25 papers and a long, long list of contributed and invited presentations. He has a deep appreciation for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activities and a sincere interest in his fellow scientists at all stages of their careers."

The story notes the many post-doctoral researchers and graduate students whom Savitzky has mentored. During the past two years, his ODU graduate students Deborah Hutchinson and Julie Ray have been the subjects of articles in international journals and popular media such as the New York Times. Their research involves exotic snakes in Japan and Panama.

Savitzky has been a faculty member at ODU since 1982. In response to the ASIH recognition, he said, "I'm fortunate to have been associated with so many wonderful colleagues and students."

This article was posted on: April 3, 2008

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