Graduate School Announces 2018 Award Winners

The Graduate School has announced the 2018 winners of its professional and student awards. Generously underwritten by the University Co-op, the awards recognize excellence in graduate academics, teaching and professional services.

The winners represent a diverse community of students, scholars, teachers and administrators at the university. This year’s recipients were honored at an awards banquet held May 1, 2018 at the University Union.

“The winners are a testament to the quality of teaching, research and support in graduate education that transpires on the Forty Acres,” said Mark J. T. Smith, senior vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “Each winner has done something extraordinary—the winners have conducted groundbreaking research and created striking compositions and works of art. They have inspired others to discover their potential and enabled them to succeed.”

Candidates for the awards are nominated by individuals across campus, and winners are determined by selection committees composed of faculty and staff members and students. 


Outstanding Dissertation Awards
The Outstanding Dissertation Awards were established in 1979 to recognize exceptional work and to encourage the highest levels of scholarship, research and writing. Each year, three awards are given. Of these, one is selected for the Michael H. Granof Award, the university’s top dissertation and graduate student award. The Outstanding Dissertation Award-winners receive $5,000, the Granof Award-winner $6,000.

Kathleen Longwaters

Kathleen Longwaters
Michael H. Granof Award Winner for top dissertation
"Approaching Death: Responses to Dying in Two South Asian Medical Traditions”
Department of Asian Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Supervisors: Professor Martha Ann Selby and Associate Professor Akbar Hyder

Amir Gholaminejad

Amir Gholaminejad, Ph.D.
Fast Algorithms for Biophysically-Constrained Inverse Problems in Medical Imaging
Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences
Supervisor: Professor George Biros

Edward Park

Edward Park, Ph.D.
Tributary Impacts, Hydrological Connectivity and Distribution of Sediment Sinks Along the Middle-Lower Amazon River”
Department of Geography and the Environment
College of Liberal Arts
Supervisor: Professor Edgardo Latrubesse

Outstanding Master's Thesis/Report Award
The Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Report Award was established in 2003 to recognize exceptional work by master’s students and to encourage the highest levels of scholarship, research and writing. The winner receives $2,000.

Melissa Heide

Melissa Heide
Performing Class, Performing Genre: The Squire of Low Degree as Fifteenth-Century Drag”      
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts
Supervisor: Associate Professor Geraldine Heng

Outstanding Graduate Student Academic Employee Award
The William S. Livingston Outstanding Graduate Student Academic Employee Awards honor outstanding performance by graduate student academic employees. The winners receive $2,000.

Aubrey Plourde

Aubrey Plourde, Teaching Assistant
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts          


Laura Felschow

Laura Felschow, Assistant Instructor
Department of Radio-Television-Film          
Moody College of Communication


Outstanding Graduate Coordinator 
Graduate coordinators are instrumental to the success of graduate students enrolled at the university. The Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award recognizes the exemplary service of one coordinator each year. The winner receives $3,000.

Robin Dusek

Robin Dusek
Graduate Coordinator
Department: School of Architecture 
Nominator: Dean Michelle Addington

Outstanding Graduate Teacher         
The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recognizes one faculty member for his or her distinguished graduate teaching—including demonstrated excellence in the classroom or laboratory, mentorship of students and service to students’ thesis and dissertation committees. The winner receives $3,000.

Kevin Folliard
Department: Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering   
Nominator: Professor Robert Gilbert

Outstanding Graduate Adviser
Graduate advisers provide invaluable services to the university and its community of students, faculty and staff members. The Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award recognizes the exemplary service of one adviser each year. The winner receives $3,000.

Alison Frazier 
Associate Professor
Department: History  
Nominator: Professor Jacqueline Jones

Outstanding Alumnus Award
The Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes outstanding academic or nonacademic achievements of Graduate School alumni. As a part of the recognition, a $5,000 fellowship is awarded in the winner’s name to a graduate student in the department in which he or she studied.

B. L. Turner II (B.A. ’68,  M.A. ’69)
Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
Department: Geography and the Environment
Nominator: Associate Professor Kelley Crews