Jackie Gallagher, associate professor of geography at the University of Mary Washington, has been recognized with the J. Christopher (Topher) Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award for her contributions to UMW and her involvement and leadership in the greater community. The award was presented at the University’s opening faculty meeting on Monday, August 19.
Announcing the award, Parrish Waters, chair of the Sabbaticals, Fellowships and Faculty Awards Committee and assistant professor of biology, said Gallagher has shown a remarkable dedication to UMW students and faculty as well as the Fredericksburg community.
“[Dr. Gallagher] has worked for years to establish meaningful relationships with local K-12 schools that introduce students and educators to the tools and curriculum of her discipline and foster intellectual excitement for this material. Her engagement in community service extends beyond the classroom, as she applies her scientific knowledge of water, weather and climate to improve and enhance local natural resources.”
Waters also praised Gallagher for helping with UMW’s recruitment efforts, saying she’s provided “an informed and compassionate voice to prospective students and parents.”
A member of the Mary Washington faculty since 2006, Gallagher assumed the role of geography department chair in 2014, after spending a year as interim chair. She has taught a variety of courses, including weather and climate, landform processes, biogeography, natural hazards, water resources and geographic information science (GIS).
Respected for her expertise, Gallagher has presented at conferences of the Association of American Geographers and its southeastern division, and the Geological Society of America. During her time at UMW, she has studied extensively the human impact on lands and rivers throughout the greater Fredericksburg area.
Gallagher earned a Ph.D. in geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in geography from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wales, College of Swansea, where she majored in quaternary studies. She previously taught at Florida Atlantic University.
“Her role in shaping the policies and structure of UMW cannot be overstated,” said Waters, praising Gallagher for the “countless hours and valuable contributions she has made through her leadership roles.” At Mary Washington, Gallagher has served on the Curriculum and Academic Affairs committees as well as the President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability, and as both vice chair and chair of the University Faculty Council.
The Topher Bill Service Award was established in 2003 through an endowment from former students, colleagues, friends and family of the late Christopher (Topher) Bill. A Mary Washington faculty member for nearly 30 years, the former psychology professor died in 2001 and is remembered for his outstanding citizenship both on campus and in the Fredericksburg community. The selection criteria for the award stipulates that the recipient must have served a minimum of seven years as a member of the UMW teaching faculty and must have been heavily and consistently involved in a variety of service capacities, including departmental, university-wide and community service. Nominations may be submitted by any member of the teaching faculty, staff or student body of the University.