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Best of the Best

April 26, 2017

Dr. Leona Rubin flanked by Kate Perry (left) and Rachel Bauer. Rubin is holding a "Graddy" statue that mimics an Academy Award.

The third annual Graduate Awards Banquet was an evening of networking, laughter and accolades. Co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, Graduate Professional Council and the Office of Graduate Studies, the event marked the close an academic year filled with research, teaching, creative and scholarly accomplishments. 

Kate Perry, President of the MU Graduate Student Association (GSA) presented Outstanding Graduate Student Awards to Anahita Zare, Chemistry and Theodore Masthay, Political Science. GSA’a Superior Graduate Student Awards went to Jordan Thomas, Animal Science and Luke Russell, Human Development and Family Sciences.

Presentation of awards by the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) were made by incoming president E. Alex Howe. The GPC Gold Chalk Awards for Excellence in Teaching went to Frank O. Bowman III, Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law; Dr. Silvia S. Jurisson, Professor of Chemistry & Radiology; Dr. Brian A. Silvey, Associate Professor of Music Education; Dr. Denis M. McCarthy, Professor of Psychological Sciences and Dr. Robin C. Harris, Assistant Teaching Professor & Director of the DNP Program.

Awards from the Office of Graduate Studies were made by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies Dr. Leona Rubin and Dr. Jeni Hart, Assistant Vice-Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.

The MU Distinguished Dissertation Award, which recognizes exceptional original scholarship and research at the doctoral level, went to Paula Hunt, Journalism.

Dissertation Disciplinary Awards. The categories and their respective winners included Biological Sciences and Life Sciences, Dr. Pamela Ostby, Nursing; Social Sciences, Dr. Abigail Allen, Special Education; and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Dr. Brittany Morago, Computer Science.

The winner of the MU Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award was Seth Wiesman of Computer Science, for excellence demonstrated in scholarship and research at the master’s level.

Two Donald K. Anderson awards were announced. The Anderson Graduate Research Assistant Award recognizes excellence and lasting impact through contributions to research, future promise as a researcher, originality, imagination, satisfactory progress toward a degree and research mentoring to peers. This year’s award went to Anna Lindell in Psychological Sciences.

The Anderson Graduate Teaching Assistant Award recognizes excellence and lasting impact in the classroom, positive attitudes and personalities, enthusiasm and commitment, and mentorship to peers and/or undergraduates. Luke Russell, Human Development and Family Sciences, was this year’s recipient.

Elizabeth Gammel of Geological Sciences received the Sandra K. Abell Science Education Award. Dr. Abell was a nationally-recognized science educator and beloved mentor. The award recognizes a PhD student in any science discipline who has demonstrated passion both in research and teaching.

The Dr. Donald M. Suggs Dissertation Support Fellowships went to Kenneth Bryant, Political Science and Ashley Price, Public Affairs. Dr. Suggs is a respected newspaper publisher, retired oral surgeon, patron of the arts and distinguished community leader in St. Louis.

Bryant took a moment to offer a stirring tribute to his late friend, Monica Hand. Ms Hand was a PhD student in the College of Arts & Sciences, an assistant professor at Stephens College and a nationally-known author and poet. Bryant described her as " A big, vibrant, gregarious human being, who nurtured relationships across a vast cross-section of people, places, and interests...She never met someone and made them feel anything less than family....her presence was a gift."

He added, " Monica’s sudden passing should be a reminder to us: we are not promised tomorrow and we are not promised each other tomorrow." 

Drs. Jeni Hart (left) and Julija Sukys

 Graduate Faculty Mentor Award

  This years’ MU Graduate Faculty Mentor Award went to
  Dr. Julija Sukys from the English Department.

  In their letters of support, Dr. Sukys' current and former
  students emphasized how she had facilitated their
  professional growth as authors and scholars. 

CIRTL. Dr. Peter Motavali recognized three students who have earned an Associate Certificate for their work with the Center for the Integration of Teaching & Learning. The recipients were Jennie Pardoe, Theatre;  Chen Zhang, Chemistry and Kimberly Jasmer-McDonald, Biochemistry.

Six postdoctoral associates received the Preparing Future Faculty Postdoctoral Fellowships: Paula Hunt, Journalism; Jennifer Lewallen, Communication; Aston Speno, Communication; Christopher Patane, Political Science; Kenneth Shields, Philosophy; and Kalyn Rochelle Compaore, Roman Languages and Literature.

The "Graddy." Outgoing GPC President Rachel Bauer joined GSA President Kate Perry on stage to present Dr. Rubin with a "Graddy" award (pictured top of page.) As they handed her the golden Oscar look alike (Academy Award statue), they recognized the Associate Vice Chancellor for her ethical leadership, advocacy and authenticity. Rubin was visibly surprised and touched by their recognition.

3MT. Also recognized were the Mizzou Three Minute Thesis (3MT) winners: First place went to Dr. Jacqueline Gamboa Varela, Chemistry; second, Dr. Michael K. Fink, Area Pathology and People’s Choice, Megan Sheridan, Biochemistry.

GSLDP. Finally, the 2017 Graduate Student Leadership Development Program cohort was announced: Kari Chesney, Biomedical Sciences;  Rugare (George) Chingarande, Biological Engineering;  Yassine Dguidegue, Rural Sociology;  Mojtaba Khajeloo, Learning, Teaching & Curriculum; Luca Mollel, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis; Nicholas  Olivarez, Microbiology; Joel Reed, Communication and Patricka Williams-Simon,  Biological Sciences.

Photos of the event can be found on Facebook