Harold Burkhart, University Distinguished Professor and Thomas M. Brooks Professor of Forest Biometrics in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to Virginia Tech faculty members who have been particularly dedicated and effective while advising graduate students. Recipients, who may be nominated by university faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners and receive a $2,000 prize.

In the 41 years Burkhart has been a member of the Virginia Tech community, 29 master's degree students and 27 doctoral candidates have completed degrees under his direction. In addition, he has served as a member of more than 150 graduate student advisory committees in a variety of academic programs from across the university. Graduate students from Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Korea, and South Africa have studied with Burkhart at Virginia Tech as part of degree programs from their home institutions.

Students working with Burkhart have received approximately 20 notable recognitions and awards, including five A.B. Massey Awards and five Sigma Xi Awards. Further, his students have won a number of competitive fellowship awards — two have received Outstanding Alumni Awards, and one has received the Gamma Sigma Delta Dissertation Award.

Graduates of his forest biometry program currently hold faculty appointments at Mississippi State University, the University of Maine, Louisiana State University, the University of Georgia, Rutgers University, Auburn University, and the University of North Carolina, among others. Many more hold research positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service while others are employed by state agencies and industrial firms.

"Dr. Burkhart has attracted top-notch graduate students to Virginia Tech, guided them through a rigorous course work and research experience, worked with them to get their research results published in top journals, ensured that they were placed in challenging and appropriate professional positions, and maintained a continued collegial relationship with them throughout their careers," said Janaki Alavalapati, professor and head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. "He is well known throughout the forestry profession as a leading researcher and a skilled and talented mentor of graduate students."

Burkhart received his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Share this story