Graduate Annual Awards 2020 highlight outstanding students and faculty

A group of seven graduate students and faculty members received awards and almost 70 nominees were recognized for their accomplishments this year.

Five students and two faculty members received awards at the 2019-2020 Graduate Annual Awards. These seven members of the graduate community have made extraordinary contributions to graduate education and supported the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

The Graduate School awards students in three categories: Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Graduate Student Exemplar. Additionally, two faculty awards are made in two categories: Outstanding Graduate Program Director and Faculty Mentor of the Year.

The Outstanding Graduate Program Director (GPD) recognition was awarded to Dr. Noel Ziebarth from the Biomedical Engineering department at the College of Engineering. This award recognizes a GPD who has made a significant impact on graduate education, and/or in support of graduate students of a program, enhancing curriculum, programming, recruitment, retention, or placement. 

The Faculty Mentor of the Year recognition was awarded to Dr. Kenneth Feeley from the Biology department at the College of Arts and Sciences. This award recognizes one faculty member who has shown tremendous commitment to mentoring, advising, and supporting graduate student advisees.  

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant recognition was awarded to Merranda McLaughlin, a Ph.D. student in Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences. This award recognizes a teaching assistant for enhancing undergraduate education at the University. The student must exhibit superior effectiveness or innovation in teaching undergraduates, as well as demonstrated interest in professional development as a teacher.

This year, the Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant recognition, given to a graduate student distinguished in scholarly or research pursuits, was awarded to two students:  Ashley Hemm, a Ph.D. student in English at the College of Arts and Sciences, and Keyvan Yousefi, a Ph.D. student in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the Miller School of Medicine.

The Graduate Student Exemplar recognition is given to a graduating student who has excelled academically and has either overcome tremendous odds to be successful or has consistently made contributions which benefit others. At the master’s level, this recognition was awarded to Antonio Sanchez Gonzalez, a Nursing student at the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The doctoral winner was Vanesa Mora Ringle, a Ph.D. student in Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations to all faculty and student winners! 

Click here for the full list of nominees.

To view a recording of the winner announcement on April 30, click here.