Dr. Trevor M. Harris, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Geography, was recently presented the Miernyk Award for Career Scholarly Achievement at a banquet held in his honor at the Hotel Morgan, Morgantown, WV.
The Miernyk Award, established in honor of the late Professor William H. Miernyk who had founded the Regional Research Institute in 1965, recognizes individuals whose careers have been marked by sustained scholarly productivity, dedication to doctoral students, service to scholarly organizations and enduring commitment to the Institute and to WVU. Dr. Randall W. Jackson, RRI Director and presenter of the award said, “In this regard, Dr. Harris was an outstanding candidate.” Harris joins only four others who have received this distinction: Dr. Patrick C. Mann in 1990, Dr. Ronald L. Lewis in 1995, Dr. Walter C. Labys in 2000, and Dr. Peter V. Schaeffer in 2008.
Beginning his career at WVU 23 years ago, he rose from Associate Professor to Department Chairman and was named Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Geography. “His intellectual and administrative leadership has contributed substantially to the national and international recognition of the expertise in geographic information systems, geospatial analysis, and facilities at WVU,” Dr. Jackson said. Jackson also spoke of the benefits of Harris’ and his colleagues’ research, explaining how it reached beyond their department to many disciplines and academic units at WVU. He referenced examples of research that complemented related research on natural resources and design in the Davis College and the spoke about the University’s growing strength in spatial data analysis including spatial econometrics. “Because the RRI played, and continues to play, a critical role in this field, Dr. Harris became a RRI Faculty Research Associate shortly after arriving at WVU” said Jackson.
“It is apparent that despite his administrative responsibilities for 18 of the 23 years he has been here, his research record and his work with doctoral students are impressive,” Jackson continued. “He supported doctoral education at WVU directly through teaching, funded research that created opportunities for graduate students, chaired or was a member of doctoral committees, and indirectly thru his administrative and research leadership.”
Harris said he was both honored and humbled by the award. He was honored because of the caliber of the award’s namesake and of those who had received the award before him, but he was humbled because, in his words, “there are so many outstanding scholars.”