Skip Navigation

President's Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students

Five awards of $1,000 each will be granted to outstanding graduates in May, during commencement week, at an annual awards ceremony and reception for recipients and their families. Recipients are expected to participate in a Graduate School colloquium scheduled prior to the reception. 

Students who have completed all degree requirements or anticipate the completion of all degree requirements, including the successful defense of their dissertation,  in time to attend the May  doctoral hooding ceremony are eligible.  Eligible attendees for the May 2021 doctoral hooding ceremony include:

  • December 2020  graduates
  • May 2021  graduates
  • August 2021 graduates

Nominations must be made by the student's Graduate Program Director (GPD).

The awards committee will consider the following when reviewing nominations:

1. The outstanding merit of the candidate's dissertation and its research base.
2. The candidate's exceptional contributions in ability or service to the university, which must be of such a nature as to warrant special citation.
3. How, in completing doctoral study, the candidate overcame a personal or social handicap of an unusual nature, warranting special recognition. For example, this could include  a difficult family situation or financial hardship, a learning disability, or similar adversity that the student overcame.   

Nomination should include:

  • A completed Google Nomination Form.
  • A letter of nomination from the Graduate Program Director (GPD).  If there is a conflict, the Department Chair can provide this  nomination letter in lieu of the GPD.
  • A letter of support from the student's advisor. Additional letters in support also may be included.
  • A one-page dissertation summary including dissertation title and actual/proposed defense date. This should be geared toward a general audience. 
  • A brief, two- or three-sentence  draft dissertation citation.  This should summarize the student's dissertation topic and be geared toward a general audience. 
  • The student's C.V.

The recipients and their citations will be listed in the graduate awards program.

The nomination deadline for 2022 is TBD. 

Past Recipients

2021: Meghan Buckley, English
Xujia Chen, Math
Sebastian Dick, Physics
Sindhuja Tirumalai Govindarajan, Biomedical Engineering  
Jonathan Rawski, Linguistics
2020:  Xinzhong Chen, Physics
Michael Tyler Guinn, Biomedical Engineering
Adrian Howansky, Biomedical Engineering
Erin Kang, Psychology
Avi Srivastava, Computer Science
2019:  Connor Behan, Physics and Astronomy
Aleksander Doan, Mathematics
Ju Hyeon Han, Music
Carrie Mongle, Anthropological Sciences
Craig Rodriguez-Seijas, Clinical Psychology
2018:  Jennifer Carter, Philosophy
Jianqiu Guo, Materials Science
Jianping Huang, Chemistry
Hans Niederhausen, Physics
Scott Zukowski, English
2017: Francisco Delgado, English
Han Fang, Applied Mathematics & Statistics
Daphne Meza, Biomedical Engineering
Saul Siller, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
Laurel Yohe, Ecology & Evolution
2016: Matthew Gilbert, English
Luisa Escobar-Hoyos, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology
Jue Liu, Chemistry          
Wolfger Peelaers, Physics
Mao Zeng, Physics 
2015: Brian Feinstein, Clinical Psychology
Zachariah Foda, Molecular & Cellular Biology
Anna Plonka, Geosciences          
Brandi So, English
Megan Tudor, Clinical Psychology 
2014: Elena D'Amelio, Cultural Analysis & Theory
Mark Rice, History
Matt von Hippel, Physics & Astronomy 
Ian Wallace, Anthropological Sciences
Anna Weinberg, Psychology 
2013: Guang Cheng, Material Science
Ping Cao, Chemistry
Bryce Gadway, Physics 
Christopher Koenigsmann, Chemistry
Qiang Zhu, Geosciences 
2012: Trent Balius, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Debasis Banerjee, Chemistry
Adam Congleton, Experimental/Cognitive Psychology   
Abhijit Gadde, Physics and Astronomy
Meng Li, Materials Science and Engineering 
2011: Jacqueline Faherty, Physics and Astronomy
Sarah Gray, Ecology and Evolution
Christian Holzner, Physics and Astronomy           
Ying Liu, Materials Science and Engineering
Liliana Naydan, English
Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, Psychology
2010: Leandro Almeida, Physics & Astronomy
Yevgen Borodin, Computer Science
Xiaojing Huang, Physics & Astronomy    
Zhi Pan, Material Sciences
Ilmo Sung, Physics & Astronomy
2009: Douglas Boyer, Anatomical Sciences
Amanuel Beyin, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences            
Shivani Ahuja, Physics & Astronomy
Jada Hamilton, Social and Health Psychology
Melissa Patterson, Chemistry
2008: Kieran Boyle, Physics and Astronomy
Yi Chen, Materials Science
Eliza Congdon, Biopsychology    
Jeremy Holt, Physics and Astronomy
F. Marc Michel, Geosciences
2007: Bengt Allen, Ecology and Evolution
Harold Bien, Biomedical Engineering
Gabrielle Chiaramonte, Psychology        
Brenda Elsey, History
Minhua Shao, Material Sciences
2006: Kaustabh Ghosh, Biomedical Engineering
Andisheh Abedini, Chemistry
Rama Calaga, Physics and Astronomy    
Mitch Irwin, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences
Deborah Stoner-Ma, Chemistry