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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Thankful for our Alumni

Posted on: Nov. 2, 2020

Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

We are proud to announce Daniel Jaffee and Lauret Savoy as recipients of our Distinguished Alumni Award for 2019 and 2020, respectively. This award is given to graduates of our Department “in recognition of outstanding contributions to geology, the profession and service to the Department.”

2019 – Daniel Jaffee

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Dan has been a long-time supporter of our program. His generous annual gifts over the years have allowed undergraduate students to attend geology field camps or other essential training programs that are required for a BS degree. These experiences instill powerful skills that are the basis for careers in the geosciences. Dan is an environmental geologist in the Boston Area.

2020 – Lauret Savoy


Professor Savoy is a member of the faculty at Mount Holyoke College in Amherst, MA. Her books and contributions are inspired by her own life experiences and speak to both a deep love and sensitivity for science and the aesthetics of our field.

Alumni Feature - Lee Nichols (M.S., 1967)

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Lee Nichols (M.Sc., P.Eng., P.Geol.) completed his undergraduate degree in Geological Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1963. He earned his MS from the Department of Geology at SU in 1967 with a thesis on “Hydrologic balance of a complex drainage area in New Quebec, Canada” under the direction of Professor John Prucha. Lee recalls attending John Prucha’s very first course in Structural and Tectonic Geology at SU, in the fall semester of 1964, along with other graduate students Bill Cannon, John Gibbons, Jack Lewis, Peter Lessing, Jeff Sutherland, Lou Fernandez, Jim Street and Ken Babcock (who later became the Director General of the Geological Survey of Canada).

Lee’s one-man operation in Western Canada, grew to become Terracon Geotechnique Ltd. with over 200 employees with a global reach. Lee is the founder, president and CEO. Operations focus on geotechnical engineering, mine and tailings development, ore deposit evaluation, groundwater hydrology and environmental management. He is a registered Professional Engineer and Geologist in Alberta and British Columbia, a member of the Canadian Geotechnical Society and a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. Lee has been a leading proponent of industrial workplace health and safety and career development as well as a supporter of undergraduate education at the University of Alberta.