Graduate School Announces 2022 Award Winners

Students on campus

The Graduate School has announced the 2022 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.

These awards are generously underwritten by the University Co-op, and are presented at the annual Graduate School/University Co-op Awards Banquet each spring.


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.


Dr. Benjamin Kofi Nutor
Michael H. Granof Award winner for top dissertation
The Landscapes of Transatlantic Contacts and Slavery at Peki in Eastern Ghana, c.1600-1900
Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Liza Shapiro


Dr. Abikal Borah
Aftertaste of Empire: Amandiya and Racial Violence in South Africa (1843-1949)
History
College of Liberal Arts 
Nominated by Seth Garfield, Ph.D.


Yuan-I (Nina) Chen
Development of the single-molecule tracking and fluorescence lifetime techniques for biophysical measurements and biomedical applications
Biomedical Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Nominated by Hsin-Chih Yeh, 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.


Jian Gao
"My Heart is Longing So Much": Transnational Family Letters in the Making of Chinese Mexicans, 1907-1950s
History
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Seth Garfield, 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.


Michal "Mikey" Calo, Teaching Assistant
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Phillip Barrish, Ph. D.

 


Vincent Viviani, Teaching Assistant
Department of Chemistry
College of Natural Sciences
Nominated by Zachariah Page, Ph.D.

 


Michelle Rabe, 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.


Dr. Michael Schmidt
Graduate Coordinator
History
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by Seth Garfield, 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.


Dr. Catherine Cubbin
Professor
Social Work
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Nominated by Luiz Zayas, 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.


Dr. Frances Champagne
Professor
Psychology
College of Liberal Arts
Nominated by David Schnyer, Ph.D.