For nearly three decades Stan Chernicoff has enthusiastically educated the masses about subduction zones, pyroclastic flows and glacial moraines with an infectious passion that resonates through you with the timbre of his Bronx accent.
He was the first professor I approached for a quick question after class (astonishing, considering it was me and 700 other kids in his Geological Sciences 101 course). He called me by name before I even said anything, as he did nearly every other student in the class, and every student in the class the 10 years before me. I discovered a subject outside my major that I enjoyed immensely, finally understanding the value of a liberal arts education. He led us on field trips where I was astounded by his casual approachability, and came to genuinely like the person who was challenging me to better myself. As we tromped past hot springs on the way to Mt. Rainier or examined old sea beds on the way to Snoqualamie, we got the sense that this person really cared about us, and viewed himself as a steward to help us define our futures.
What I did not realize at the time was the breadth of Stan's commitment to this University's undergraduates. Over the years he has sponsored thousands of students for independent studies or internships. He has an open door that goes beyond office hours; he supports UW students in all their endeavors whether it's attending their sporting events or honoring them at an awards ceremony. I am continually amazed at how he manages to keep himself fresh for the crush of kids that come around.
He is the person our parents hoped we would meet when they sent us off to college.
Clay Schwenn, '93
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