Darrin Fresh Water Institute’s Chuck Boylen Receives Award Honoring Research Center’s Benefactor
Chuck Boylen, the associate director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Bolton Landing as well as a Professor of Biology at RPI’s Troy campus, has been selected to receive this year’s David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award.
The award is given by Phalanx, the student leadership honor society at RPI, and was established by David M. Darrin, a trustee and a member of the class of 1940, to recognize a faculty member who has made an unusual contribution in the counseling of undergraduate students.
“Student advising and counseling have always been at the core of my educational philosophy,” said Boylen. “With each student experience, I feel my life has become enhanced and, conversely, I feel my interactions with students impart a positive attitude of their experience as a college student. My career at RPI has been enriched beyond measure with the experiences I have had with my students.”
Boylen said he was especially pleased to receive the award because of its association with David M. Darrin, the Hague summer resident who was an early supporter of the work of the Fresh Water Institute.
“As an RPI trustee, David’s interest in undergraduate and graduate education was already evident on campus with the construction and opening of the Darrin Communication Center in 1972,” said Boylen. “But his firsthand experiences with RPI students and faculty at Lake George in the early years of the Fresh Water Institute played a significant role in David’s motivation to recognize faculty advising and counseling by creating the Darrin Counseling Award.”
Boylen said he first became acquainted with Darrin while doing research on Lake George.
“Within a year of my arrival at RPI, I initiated my research program at Lake George with RPI’s Water Research Center. The first research site was at Smith Bay, on the northeast side of the lake, south of Gull Bay. Directly across from the laboratory was Hague. David and Peggy had a summer home there and in the summers, David would boat across the lake to ‘see what was going on,’ to use his phrase. He enjoyed engaging faculty and students in conversation about the lake’s ecology and their own research.”
David M. Darrin died in 1981. But his support for the Fresh Water Institute, which was continued by his wife Peggy, led RPI to name the new laboratory and renovated campus in Bolton Landing the David and Margaret Darrin Fresh Water Institute.
Boylen received a BA in Microbiology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been at RPI since 1972 and was director of the Fresh Water Institute from 1983 to 1993 and has been its Associate Director since 1993. Boylen is internationally known for his research on Lake George and other water bodies of the Adirondacks.