... by alumni and faculty alike. If you'd like to share your thoughts or stories about Vic, please send them to our department secretary, Lauri, for submission. Thank you for remembering our friend, Vic, and for keeping his name alive by supporting this scholarship.
In 1950, the Science Teachers Association of New York State (NYSSTA at the time) honored several members by inducting them as the first Fellows of the organization. Dr. Schmidt was one of them, having contributed to STANYS and science education in outstanding ways.
For decades, Victor Schmidt served STANYS, science education, and the students of earth science with zest. He inspired generations of students and teachers. His skill in questioning was legendary and he expected you to show an interest in the world around you. A student of nature all his life, Dr. Schmidt enjoyed walking and canoeing, stopping often to examine rocks and plants, or observe the landscape. Any one accompanying him was bound to learn something new that day.
In the late 1960s Dr. Schmidt was an advisor to the group of educators that developed and field-tested the new inquiry based New York State Regents Earth Science Syllabus and Supplement of 1970. The revolutionary changes from descriptive to inquiry-based teaching continue through the modifications we see today. His contributions to this course live on through those of you teaching Regents earth science and the many, many students studying under this program.
Over the years, Dr. Schmidt presented workshops at the STANYS Conference. It was during a drive home in 1984 that he asked himself how he and other experienced teachers could help new science teachers. He realized he had gained much from networking in STANYS and wanted a way to encourage new teachers to reap the same rewards. He decided to make a substantial donation to our organization and asked other Fellows for contributions. Some years later, the fund had grown and it was time for STANYS to act on Dr. Schmidt's idea.
The Fellows New Teacher Conference Award is the result. Annually, since 1992, we have selected a promising new teacher to attend the STANYS Conference gratis. Fortuitously, the first recipient was a Brockport College earth science alumna. Dr. Schmidt was pleased that we had found a way to support the professional growth of new science teachers.
Victor Schmidt was an outstanding educator, naturalist, and mentor. STANYS salutes and remembers him with respect and fondness.