Skip to main content

Graduate Studies Announces 2019-2020 Graduate Education Honors and Awards

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 (All day)

Recognizing exceptional faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars

For many years, May has served as a month for graduate education achievements on many fronts. Through our various honors and awards programs, Graduate Studies has recognized and celebrated the talent and dedication of dozens of exceptional graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and professors who have a huge impact on the UC Davis campus community through their research, teaching and mentorship.

In addition to awarding dissertation, teaching and mentoring honors, Graduate Studies also recognized both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 cohorts of the Professors for the Future (PFTF) program.

Dissertation Awards

John Kinsella Award

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) has established the Kinsella Memorial Prize in honor of late Dean and Professor John Kinsella.  The annual award of $3,500 will be given to an outstanding individual based on the quality and originality of the work, the multidisciplinary impact of the research and, the importance of the research to the college’s mission to serve agriculture, the environment, and human health and development.

  • Awarded to Jennifer Schmidt, Horticulture and Agronomy
  • Major Professor: Amelie Gaudin
  • Dissertation Title: “Traits, Trades, and Tradeoffs: Impacts of Directed Selection on the Maize Rhizobiome and Rhizosphere Interactions”

Max Kleiber Prize

This prize was established to honor the sixty year career of Professor Max Kleiber in recognition of his outstanding success in elucidating metabolic relationships in intact animals. The award is made to a nominee who best represents the characteristics and high standards of scholastics and professional ethics that guided Professor Kleiber’s career. 

  • Awarded to Katti Crakes, Integrative Pathobiology
  • Major Professor: Satya Dandekar
  • Dissertation Title: “Mapping metabolic pathways for mucosal health at the host-microbe interface”

Loren D. Carlson Prize in Physiology

​The Loren D. Carlson Prize in Physiology is awarded the student who best demonstrates "scholarly achievement and promise for teaching and research.”  The recipients of the Carlson Prize receive an award of $3,000, a certificate commemorating the Prize, and their name will be inscribed on the Carlson Prize plaque in the Carlson Library.

Zuhair A. Munir Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Engineering

The Zuhair A. Munir Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation honors former Dean of the College of Engineering, Zuhair A. Munir.   Munir led the College from 2000 to 2002 and acted as its Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for 20 years. This Award will not only honors the individual who submitted the best doctoral dissertation within the College of Engineering during the eligibility period and publicize their outstanding research, but also acknowledges the mentorship of the major professor. The award consists of a plaque and honorarium of $1000 for the student.

  • Awarded to Jennifer Nill, Chemical Engineering
  • Major Professor: Tina Jeoh
  • Dissertation Title: ““Rate Limitations in Cellulose Hydrolysis Kinetics Arising from the Productive Cellulase Binding Capacity “

Allen G. Marr Prize

The Allen G. Marr Prize was established in honor of Allen G. (Jerry) Marr's 20 year contribution as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and his commitment to the highest standards of scholarship and professional ethics. A $1,500 prize is awarded by Graduate Studies to a doctoral student in honor of superior dissertation work. Each year the competition is in different discipline areas. The fields of competition for the 2018 award were Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering and Social Sciences.

  • Awarded to Hossein Jalili, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Major Professor: Omeed Momeni
  • Dissertation Title: “Standing Wave Integrated Circuits for Power Generation, Radiation and Beam Steering at Millimeter Wave and Terahertz Spectrum”

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards

The Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award (OGTA) recognizes the contributions of graduate students to teaching and learning at UC Davis. This is a tremendously important award as it honors outstanding graduate students, reminds the campus that teaching is a central part of the university’s mission, and can inspire students and professors to give increased attention to the educational process.

Mentoring Awards

Distinguished Graduate and Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award

Graduate Studies and the Graduate Council are pleased to present awards for outstanding mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. The Distinguished Mentoring Awards recognize the vital role mentoring plays in the academic and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UC Davis.  A certificate and $1,000 will be conferred to each awardee.  

  • Bill McCarthy, Professor of Sociology
  • Bettina Ng’weno, Associate Professor of African-American and African-Studies
  • Erkin Seker, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Smriti Srinivas, Professor of Anthropology

Wakeham Mentoring Fellowship

The Wakeham Mentoring Fellowship recognizes up to four exceptional faculty-graduate student mentorship projects annually. The fellowship provides support for faculty mentors and their graduate student mentees.

  • Maureen Kinyua, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • José Juan Pérez Meléndez, Assistant Professor, History
  • Marian Schlotterbeck, Associate Professor, History
  • Lorena Oropeza, Professor, History

Professors for the Future

Professors for the Future (PFTF) is a year-long competitive fellowship program designed to recognize and develop the leadership skills of outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated their commitment to professionalism, integrity, and academic service. 

2020-2021 Fellows

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.