Graduate School Announces 2021 Award Winners

Image of UT Tower Lit with No. 1

The Graduate School has announced the 2021 winners of its professional and student awards. 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. 

“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 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.


STUDENT AWARDS

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. The Outstanding Dissertation Award-winners receive $5,000, the Granof Award-winner $6,000.


Ruohan Gao
Michael H. Granof Award winner for top dissertation
Look and Listen: From Semantic to Spatial Audio-Visual Perception
Department of Computer Science
College of Natural Sciences 
Nominated by Adam Klivans, Ph.D.


Daniel Thomas, III
My mom used to sing "To Be Young, Gifted and Black": Black Male Teacher-Coaches Combating an AntiBlack Epistemic Order Through Critical Civic Engagement
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education
Nominated by Xiaofen Keating, Ph.D.


Ricardo Velasco Trujillo
CULTURAL ECOLOGIES OF MEMORY AND SYMBOLIC REPARATION IN TRANSITIONAL COLOMBIA. Practices of Memory by State and Civil Society Actors During the Post-conflict Transition
Department of Latin American Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Carlos Ramos-Scharrón, Ph.D.


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.


Indigo Fischer
An Audio and Visual Exploration of Music from the 18th Century to Today
Butler School of Music, Music Performance
College of Fine Arts
Nominated by Charles Carson, Ph.D.


Suzanne Nimoh
Racial Narratives in Leisure Landscapes: Colonial Tourism in Santo Domingo
Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Paul Adams, Ph.D.


Nhat Quang Hoang Tran
The Epoch of Giant Planet Migration Planet Search Program A Near-Infrared Radial Velocity Jitter of Young Sun-like Stars
Department of Astronomy
College of Natural Sciences
Nominated by Harriet Dinerstein, Ph.D.


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.


Nigel O'Hearn, Teaching Assistant
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Donna Kornhaber, Ph.D.

 


David Barry, Teaching Assistant
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education
Nominated by Christopher Brown, Ph.D.

 


Kaitlyn Farrell Rodriguez, Assistant Instructor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Phillip Barrish, Ph.D.


PROFESSIONAL AWARDS

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.


Lacy White
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Nominated by Andrew Dunn, Ph.D.


Outstanding Graduate Teacher         

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recognizes one faculty member for 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.


Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Classics
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Alison Frazier, Ph.D.


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.


Lorraine Leu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Jorge Pérez, Ph.D.

May 3, 2021