Dr. Crumbly Recognized with Special Commendation Award

by Mechell McCrary

Posted on Dec 03, 2021

By Mechell Clark McCrary

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) recently honored Dr. Issac Crumbly with a special commendation award recognizing his trailblazing career and achievements in broadening diversity and inclusion within the field of STEM. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, SEG is a learned society dedicated to promoting the science and education of geophysics.

Crumbly, Fort Valley State University's associate vice president for career and collaborative programs, and founder and director of the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP), was presented with the prestigious honor during an awards ceremony held in Denver on September 28, 2021. He accepted the award during the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy (IMAGE).

"I am pleased to have received this award, especially since SEG is an international organization; therefore, the award helps to bring international recognition to FVSU, CDEP, and its graduates," said Crumbly.

The CDEP founder was nominated by Mike Loudin, chair of the SEG Foundation.

"Ike's foundational and career-long work to advance diversity and inclusion in STEM areas in the United States, including Geoscience, deserves special consideration," said Loudin. "In a span of nearly four decades, he has provided a beacon of unassuming, constructive, and determined commitment to producing successful STEM graduates from underrepresented communities with an additional focus on women," he continued. "Along the way, his program has greatly influenced inclusion and diversity efforts at several university partners, attracted attention and funding from major corporations, and received recognition from two U.S. Presidents."

Throughout the award nomination process, several other STEM leaders expressed their support for Dr. Crumbly including Dr. Lee R. Kump, Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Pennsylvania State University.

"It wasn't until I traveled to Fort Valley State University for their annual CDEP celebration that I came to fully appreciate the incredible work Dr. Crumbly has done," said Kump. "My first impressions were from the students themselves: never before had I met such a professional group of students. The level of mentoring they receive from Dr. Crumbly and his staff is, in my experience, unparalleled."

Dr. Crumbly initiated CDEP in 1983 at FVSU. The program recruits diverse students into the STEM field to create more equity and inclusion. Via CDEP, FVSU students have participated in more than 850 internships with the public and private sectors of the energy industry, gained over 320,000 hours of hands-on-work experience, and earned over $4.5 million to help finance their education. Since 1992, CDEP has awarded over $11 million in scholarships to academically talented students. FVSU-CDEP and its university partners have awarded more than 400 STEM degrees.

"STEM education is important for the nation's economic growth and survival. As reported by NSF, only four percent of the nation's workforce is composed of scientists and engineers; this group of STEM professionals disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent of the population," said Crumbly. "African Americans and other minority groups are significantly underrepresented in STEM. That is why I have chosen to commit my time, energy, and professional career to STEM education for these underrepresented groups."

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