University of South Carolina

Professor wins SEC academic award

By Jeff Stensland,, 803-777-3686

University of South Carolina geography professor Susan Cutter received the prestigious Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award, one of 14 selected from SEC member schools.

The annual awards recognize professors who have meritorious records in teaching and scholarship and who serve as role models for colleagues and students.

“I was thrilled to be nominated and represent the university,” Cutter said. “I’m a big fan of SEC sports, and I think it’s great that they’re honoring the academic side of universities.”

Cutter’s research focuses on “disaster science”--how to identify vulnerabilities to a variety of disasters as well as assist policymakers in prevention and recovery planning. She joined USC in 1993 and is a Carolina Distinguished Professor and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She directs USC’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute and is a longtime adviser to FEMA and other agencies.

“Susan Cutter is the exemplary faculty member for a major public research university,” said Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, dean of USC’s College of Arts and Sciences. “An extraordinary teacher and mentor, she has used her considerable conceptual, analytical and leadership abilities to develop major programs of research that not only  advance science but also offer solutions to the problems facing South Carolina, the nation and the world.”

Cutter said her interest in disasters was sparked by the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear plant in 1979. Since then, she has led field work following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, and closer to home, the 2005 Graniteville, S.C. train derailment and chlorine spill.

To be eligible to receive the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, a professor must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC university; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.

SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 04/11/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 04/11/13 @ 3:16 PM | Permalink



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