In December 2017, PSP student and UD doctoral candidate Mariana Di Giacomo was honored with a Peer Recognition Award from colleagues at the National Museum of Natural History, where Mariana is a Fellow in the Department of Paleobiology. Here is an excerpt from Mariana's "Determined Detective" award:
"33 years ago the Museum received a loan from Italy from 79 AD Pompeii that included carbonized plants, animal bones, as well as valuable, well-analyzed pigments. The department had tried repeatedly for years to contact Italian institutions without success. Mariana was undeterred. Armed with a fluent command of Italian and no small amount of diplomacy, she made about 100 phone calls in her quest to find the right recipients, then wrote an 86 page conditions report on the material in both English and Italian to ease the return of this collection to its home. True to the old adage 'the reward for good work is more work': later in the year when lenders of a collection from Mexico were unresponsive for months, Mariana coordinated the return and translated another set of documents, this time into Spanish. Mariana's assistance with complex transactions like these goes far beyond the scope of work for her fellowship, and her cheerful, relentless determination has assisted the department with multiple time consuming, difficult tasks."