The National Association of Wabash Men (NAWM) Board of Directors has named Eric Wetzel as the first recipient of the Butler-Turner Student-Alumni Engagement Award. It will be presented by Rick Cavanaugh ’76, President of the National Association of Wabash Men Board of Directors, at the faculty-staff awards lunch on May 9 this year.

The purpose of this new award created by the NAWM Board of Directors is “to honor and recognize members of the Wabash faculty and staff who have made an outstanding contribution to Wabash College by distinguishing themselves through the investment of personal time and resources resulting in a significant impact on Wabash students and/or alumni.”

Wetzel is the Norman E. Treves Professor of Biology at Wabash, and the Director of the Wabash Global Health Initiative. Dr. Wetzel was an undergraduate at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, where he grew up. He then went to North Carolina where he did his MS and PhD work at Wake Forest University. After teaching at WFU for 1.5 years, he joined the Wabash faculty in 1996. His teaching and research are centered on the field of invertebrate zoology (animals without backbones) with particular interests in ‘wormy’ kinds of parasites (helminths). More specifically, his research examines the ecology of parasites of wild host animals such as fish, frogs, mollusks, and crayfish. He has led course-related immersion trips to the Gulf Coast, to the coral reefs of Jamaica and Belize, and to the Amazonian rainforest of Peru. Dr. Wetzel also serves as the Director of the Wabash Global Health Initiative, which work through education, investigation, and service to impact students and people in underserved communities. International work of the WGHI currently focuses on collaborations in the South American country of Peru, with work in rainforest, Andean, and coastal regions.

The award is named for Dr. Melissa Butler H’85 and Horace Turner H’76.