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 2023 doctoral hooding ceremony include:

  • December 2022 graduates
  • May 2023 graduates
  • August 2023 graduates

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

The awards committee will consider the following when reviewing nominations; all three are not required:

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.  

*Canidates nominated for the President's Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students may also be considered for the SUNY Chancellor Distinguished PhD Graduate Dissertation Award and the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Selected candidates will be contacted separately if additional materials are needed.

Submit a Nomination

The Google Form link above includes entry fields/document upload sections for the following:

  • A letter of nomination.
  • GPD Endorsement checkbox 
  • 2-3 faculty letters of support.
  • Dissertation Title 
  • Actual/proposed defense date
  • A dissertation abstract, or similar summary of the project. This should be geared toward a general audience and should nt exceed two (2) pages. 
  • The student's C.V.


Past Recipients

2022: Yiyang Jia, Physics and Astronomy
Calvin Quilty, Chemistry
Josue Nassar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dakotah Lambert, Linguistics
Taylor (Medwig) Kinney, Genetics

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