Graduate Annual Awards

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Graduate School Annual Awards

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019-2020 Graduate Annual Awards! 

  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant: Merranda McLaughlin, Ph.D. student in Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Outstanding Research Assistant: Ashley Hemm, Ph.D. student in English, College of Arts and Sciences, and Keyvan Yousefi, Ph.D. student in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Miller School of Medicine
  • Graduate Student Exemplar- Master's: Antonio Sanchez Gonzalez, M.S.N. student, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Graduate Student Exemplar- Doctoral: Vanesa Mora Ringle, Ph.D. student in Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Outstanding Graduate Program Director: Dr. Noel Ziebarth, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Mentor of the Year awards: Dr. Kenneth Feeley, Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. For more details and access a recording of the announcement, click here



Nominations for the 2019-2020 academic year are currently closed.

Student Awards

Graduate students may be nominated by current faculty members or administrators. 

Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant

This award recognizes one graduate student distinguished in scholarly or research pursuits in a graduate program at UM. The award winner would have made a distinctive and discernible contribution to the field of study to which the student belongs during the academic year. 

Currently enrolled master’s or doctoral students with a research assistantship and research responsibilities at the University of Miami during this academic year are eligible for this award.

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant

This award recognizes one graduate student for enhancing education at UM. The award winner would have demonstrated superior effectiveness or innovation in teaching while serving as an instructor or teaching assistant in a classroom, laboratory, studio or other setting, as well as demonstrated interest in professional development as a teacher. 

Currently enrolled master’s or doctoral students with a teaching assistantship at the University of Miami during this academic year are eligible for this award.

Graduate Student Exemplar

This award recognizes a graduating student who excelled academically and has either overcome tremendous odds to be successful or has consistently made contributions that benefit others. This student’s service, leadership or other distinctive efforts may have been to the campus, local, national or international community.

Master’s or doctoral students graduating during this academic year are eligible for this award.


Faculty Awards

Faculty may be nominated by faculty members, administrators, or graduate students.  

Outstanding Graduate Program Director

This award recognizes one Graduate Program Director who has made a significant impact on graduate education, and/or in support of graduate students in his/her program during the academic year. The outstanding GPD may have made innovations and/or contributions to enhance curriculum, programming, recruitment, retention or placement. 

All Graduate Program Directors for this academic year are eligible for the Outstanding Graduate Program Director award.

Faculty Mentor of the Year

This award recognizes one faculty member who has shown tremendous commitment to mentoring, advising and supporting graduate student advisees during the academic year. A faculty member who has made distinctive efforts in mentoring and advising graduate students to 1) become professionals in their field, 2) shape the graduate work of a graduate student, or 3) provide exceptional personal support and development to a graduate student. 

All graduate faculty are eligible to be nominated for the Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.


Butler Center Celebration of Involvement

Graduate Award for Excellence

This award, created in 1996, recognizes a student who has excelled in the areas of leadership, service, and academics. In order to be considered eligible for this award, nominees must meet all of the following conditions and participate in an interview, if selected as a finalist: 

  • Nominees must be currently enrolled at the University of Miami and be graduating in the Spring
    2020, Summer 2020, or Fall 2020 semesters.
  • Nominees must be master’s or doctoral students (excludes M.D. and J.D. students).
  • Nominees must have a minimum overall cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.0.
  • Nominees must demonstrate extensive student involvement, leadership and achievement in organizations and/or programs and activities at the University of Miami. The Graduate Award for Excellence is designed to recognize superior service above and beyond that required for degree completion in the area of involvement.
  • Nominees must demonstrate personal integrity and exemplary character through specific leadership actions.
  • Nominees must have a commitment to helping other students by encouraging, supporting and nurturing their involvement in leadership opportunities.
  • Nominees must have demonstrated future leadership potential.


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  • 2019 Awards

    2019 Graduate School Annual Awards Ceremony Winners

    All nominees were invited to attend the ceremony on Wednesday, April 10, in the Tower Room of the Alumni Center where award winners were announced. Click here to view the event program and list of nominees. 

    Graduate Award for Excellence in Student Leadership: Fahd Qadir, Ph.D. in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology

    Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant: Eric Ling, Ph.D. in Mathematics

    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant: Stephanie Skenyon, Ph.D. in History

    Graduate Student Exemplar (Doctoral): Magno Formiga, Ph.D. in Physical Therapy

    Graduate Student Exemplar (Master's): Daniel Samano Martin del Campo, Master of Public Health

    Outstanding Graduate Program Director: Juan Manuel Gonzalez, Family Nurse Practitioner

    Faculty Mentor of the Year: Michelle Afkhami, Biology