GSA Medals & Awards

GSA President’s Medal

Phil and Amy Mickelson
Phil and Amy Mickelson

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GSA Award Recipients

Presented to Phil and Amy Mickelson

 Citation by Stephen G. Wells

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson recently publicized the serious need for improvement of teaching of physical science and math in elementary schools in order to attract more students into those fields. To address that need, Phil and his wife Amy have teamed up with ExxonMobil to establish the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, a week-long workshop to help third- through fifth-grade teachers gain the skills to excite their students about science and math. The teachers, selected from school districts around the country in teams of as many as ten from a district, work in the academy with established experts in the teaching of science and math. “Amy and I are thrilled to be a part of this program,” said Phil Mickelson in the June 2005 issue of Geotimes. “We see it as an opportunity to really make a difference. We hope that we can be instrumental in bringing awareness to the plight of science in America today.”

Phil and Amy support the program financially, and they also join the teachers on the last day of the academy, spending time with each teacher. Three public service announcements (2006’s “Peanut” and “Kids scientists,” and 2005’s “What if”) about the Teachers Academy ran during the Masters Tournament in 2005 and 2006. These announcements are particularly powerful messages delivered to a national television audience. The delivery of these messages about the importance of science education to so many people so effectively is another example of how the Mickelsons are providing outstanding support of both the sciences, including the geosciences.

For individuals who have reached the highest level of their own profession to offer their public support for science education deserves the gratitude, encouragement, and recognition by the Geological Society of America through the GSA President’s Medal.

 top 2007 GSA President’s Medal - Response by Phil and Amy Mickelson

Transcribed from video — Hi, I am Phil Mickelson. My wife Amy and I are very sorry we cannot join you this evening in Denver. Currently we are on a flight to Singapore and to China. We are bringing our family with us. As I compete in these two events, I also want to take advantage of this opportunity to show our kids what wonderful things China and Singapore have to offer.

But more importantly I want to thank you for recognizing the passion that my wife Amy and I have for developing and inspiring young children in the sciences. We’ve developed some educational programs for the elementary school teachers in math and sciences. Through our partnership with ExxonMobil we created the Mickelson ExxonMobil Math and Science Teachers Academy where we were able to bring in teachers from across the country and show them new innovative ways to inspire their students.

Our country has long been a leader in the geosciences and for us to maintain that leadership position we must continue to inspire our young students in these areas. Scientists have an opportunity to help slow or reverse global warming. Scientists lead us in new directions for energy. Scientists also help us predict natural disasters which save many many lives. And, the GSA is at the forefront of this research. So we are so humbled to be able to be recognized for such a wonderful award.

I also want you to know that in my world a silver medal is usually awarded for the runner up. But the Geological Society of America President’s medal feels like an atomic weight 79 to me. Thank you very much for having us and for honoring us with this wonderful award. And we will continue our work and appreciate all that you have done to help recognize that.

Thank you very much.