Distinguished Service Award

Since 2003, the Distinguished Service to SSA Award has honored individuals for their outstanding service to SSA.

Past recipients have devoted their time and talents to SSA publications, the preservation of SSA history and other important Society work that helps advance our mission.

Awardees become Honorary Members of the Society.

Award Criteria

This award honors outstanding service to SSA.

Award Eligibility

Any person may be nominated for this award with the exception of any individual who is a member, member-elect or officer of the Board of Directors at the time of the nomination deadline. There is no restriction on the number of such awards that may be given in any year.

Nomination Procedure

Any SSA member, who is eligible to submit a nomination, may nominate a candidate for this award. One two-page nomination letter must be submitted. Letters of support are optional. Any unsuccessful nomination may be considered again in the following year’s award cycle without resubmission of the nomination package if requested by a nominator before 30 September annual deadline. To be reconsidered in subsequent years (beyond the year immediately following the original nomination) a new nomination package must be submitted. The Executive Director will contact nominators via email prior to 30 September to confirm willingness for reconsideration of a package for a second year.

A signed nominator disclosure form submitted by the chief nominator must be included with every submission. Click here to complete the Ethics Disclosure Form for Nominators.

Awardee Selection

The Awardee is selected by the Board by a three-fourths vote.

Deadline and More Details

Nominations for all SSA awards should be sent to the SSA Secretary by 30 September. Electronic submissions should be e-mailed in .TXT, .PDF or .DOC files to awards@seismosoc.org.

For more information, see the SSA Honors Program guide. Questions may be directed to the Chair of the Honors Committee, Heather DeShon (hdeshon@smu.edu). Please list Distinguished Service Award – Question as the subject line.

2023 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Mitch Withers seated

Mitch Withers, an associate research professor at the University of Memphis and the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), received the 2023 Distinguished Service to SSA Award for his service as SSA treasurer for 15 years.

From 2007 to 2022, Withers monitored the society’s monthly financial progress, provided management counsel, and served on several key committees, including the Investment Committee, Management Committee, Audit Committee and as chair of the Budget Committee.

Among his projects as treasurer, Withers worked with others to update the SSA Bylaws and Board Policy Manual, established a reserves policy and ensured steady growth of those reserves for SSA, established a quasi-endowment to supply permanent funding of grant programs, and participated in developing two strategic plans for the society.

“I enjoyed working with Mitch for several years when I was SSA’s secretary,” said SSA President Peggy Hellweg. “He was a great resource for institutional knowledge, and his suggestions were always thoughtful and pertinent.”