About the Award

ASM Award Wreath and profile picture of Theodore Carski.

The ASM Carski Award for Undergraduate Education recognizes an educator for outstanding teaching of microbiology to undergraduate students and for encouraging them to subsequent achievement. The award is given in memory of Theodore Carski (1903-2003), who founded the Baltimore Biological Laboratory, Inc. in the 1930s. The lab was later acquired by the engineering firm Becton Dickinson. Carski served as ASM Treasurer from 1970-1975. He and his wife established a foundation in 1964 and an endowment to support this ASM Award. The first award was presented in 1968.

2024 ASM Carski Awardee

Lee Hughes, Ph.D.

Lee Hughes, Ph.D.

University of North Texas

Past Awardees
2023: Amy Siegesmund
2022: Nancy Boury
2021: Jason Tor
2020: David Westenberg
2019: Louise Temple
2018: Mark Martin
2017: Patricia Shields
2016: Loretta Brancaccio-Taras
2015: Susan Merkel
2014: Erica Suchman
2013: Graham Hatfull
2012: Lilliam Casillas‐Martinez
2011: Spencer A. Benson
2010: John J. Tudor
2009: Jo Handelsman
2008: Jeffrey Pommerville
2007: Lawrence R. Aaronson
2006: Amy Cheng Vollmer
2005: Carolyn Hovde Bohach
2004: Leslie Ann Schiff
2003: Michael T. Madigan
2002: Jeanne S. Poindexter
2001: Joan W. Bennetts
2000: I. Edward Alcamo
1999: Beverly Pierson
1998: Kenneth G. Todar
1997: Raúl J. Cano
1996: Vicente D. Villa
1995: Mary M. Allen
1994: David L. Balkwill
1993: George Schaiberger
1992: Jerald C. Ensign
1991: Roar Irgens
1990: Alice G. Reinarz
1989: Lois Lindberg
1988: Thomas D. Brock
1987: Paul J. Vandemark
1986: Samuel Kaplan
1985: Melvin Rheins
1984: Nancy Harvie
1983: M. John Pickett
1982: John L. Fryer
1981: Robert J. Brady
1980: Warren Litsky
1979: Elwood B. Shirling
1978: Noel R. Krieg
1977: Margaret Green
1976: Elizabeth R. Hall
1975: Matthew C. Dodd
1974: Frank E. Swatek
1973: William G. Walter
1972: William B. Sarles
1971: Ralph S. Wolfe
1970: Walter A. Konetzka
1969: Sydney C. Rittenberg
1968: Wayne W. Umbreit


Nominees must be teaching microbiology currently at a recognized college or university, with a substantial portion of their time during the past 5 years devoted to teaching undergraduate students in microbiology. Nominees must have a minimum of 10 years total teaching experience as primary course instructors at a college or university. Experience as a Teaching Assistant (TA) does not count toward the required 10 years of experience. Nominees may have engaged in research or other concerns, provided that teaching undergraduates remained a substantial activity.

Nominators must address how the nominees meet the criteria and how they have made significant contributions to advance microbiology education at the undergraduate level.

Nominations Must Include:

  1. Nomination Form. Nominator will need to create a free ASM account or log in to their current ASM account to complete the nomination. Self-nominations will not be accepted (in other words, you cannot nominate yourself for the award).
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the nominee is required to complete the nomination. After the nomination form is submitted by the nominator, the nominee will be contacted by ASM and asked to provide a current CV or enter highlights from their CV on a CV template. Completing the CV template is highly recommended; however, the selection committee will accept either the template or the nominee’s current CV.
  3. Nominee Statement. Nominees will be asked to provide a nominee statement describing their most significant contributions to the field of microbial sciences, explaining how their contributions meet the criteria for the award and why they are deserving of the award.

Awardee Benefits

The Award Laureate will receive the following honors:

  • One time waiver to publish an article without charge in 1 of ASM Journals.
  • A cash prize of $1,400.
  • Personalized commemorative keepsake.
  • Be invited to speak at the next ASM Microbe meeting.
  • Be recognized at the next ASM Microbe meeting and be invited as honored guests at the ASM and American Academy of Microbiology leadership receptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to the most frequently asked questions about ASM awards, see the Awards and Prize FAQs page.

Award Selection Process

All eligible nominations will be reviewed by the respective award selection committee. The committee members will use the nomination materials to evaluate each nominee using the described eligibility criteria. The committee will discuss outstanding candidates and determine the awardee for that year. The committee takes into consideration various factors about the nominees in the decision to ensure the selected awardee is a strong example of excellence in the field.

Selection Committee Members

  • Robert P. Hausinger, Ph.D (Chair).
  • Jorge C. Escalante-Semerena, Ph.D.
  • Erin Lipp, Ph.D.
  • Brian Palenik, Ph.D.

ASM awards are granted at the discretion of award selection committees and might not be awarded every year.

Questions? Contact awards@asmusa.org.