– At Florida Tech’s annual Honors Convocation, Vanessa Wilkat, a graduate student assistant in the university’s Department
of Physics and Space Sciences, received the John E. Miller Award for excellence in graduate student teaching and outstanding academic excellence.
Wilkat earned a bachelor of science degree at Florida Tech in 2003.
Vanessa is pursuing a master’s degree in space sciences and will research cataclysmic variables, which is a class of binary stars that exhibit unusual
changes in their brightness. Wilkat’s future plans include further graduate study toward a doctoral degree. “Her students comment repeatedly on their
end-of-term evaluations that Wilkat is a very approachable and helpful instructor. At the same time, she maintains high standards for student performance,”
said James Gering, physics and space sciences instructor.
The Miller Award was established in 1995 in memory of the university’s long-time vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Miller also was university
president for three years between the terms of Dr. Jerome Keuper, founding president, and Dr. Lynn Edward Weaver, the university’s third president.