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Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Mentoring

Criteria for Selection

  • Impact on graduate students.
  • Excellence in the supervision of student research or professional practice (e.g., supervision of teachers-in-training, mentoring graduate students in laboratories, research projects, or independent studies).
  • Excellence in graduate classroom instruction.
  • Other contributions to improved instruction, including influence on the graduate curriculum.

New Nominations

Graduate students, faculty, administrators, or alumni may submit nominations to the department chair. Upon receipt of a nomination, the department chair will invite the nominee to stand for the award. If the nominee chooses to stand for the award, the department chair will compile the following information for an application packet.

Adherence to the following order of presentation is requested in order to assist the work of the selection committee.

  • A cover page that is signed by the nominator and includes the nominee’s name, rank, department, college, and years of service to Miami University.
  • A narrative statement of nomination presenting the case for the nominee. This document should describe briefly the relevant data on courses taught, student course evaluation results, comments of departmental colleagues, and other relevant information. This statement should comment on the importance of the nominee’s courses to the instructional program of the unit and on the nominee’s overall impact on past and present graduate students.
  • A table summarizing all courses taught by the nominee within the last four years showing year and semester, course number, enrollment, and level – undergraduate, graduate, or mixed. A key should be included to indicate the course title for each course number listed on the table. This should not exceed one page. Include course evaluation data and other indicators of effective classroom teaching.
  • Indicators of effective instruction and mentoring outside of the classroom, such as graduate-authored publications, student conference presentations, exhibitions and performances, mentoring of theses, dissertations, and other capstone projects, and professional placement of graduate degree recipients.
  • A self-report on teaching goals, methods, and philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • No more than four letters of support from graduate students and alumni. All graduate students and alumni providing letters of support should state explicitly in their letters how the nominee impacted their graduate training and professional development.
Nominations are not to exceed eight double-spaced pages (not including the cover sheet and four letters of support). If excess materials are forwarded, they will be disregarded.

Repeat Nominations

If you are nominating someone who was nominated in the last two years but did not receive the award, you do not need to submit another full set of documentation. Rather, you should provide a brief summary of additional accomplishments of the nominee, along with any documentation relevant to those accomplishments.


Once the nominations have been collected, the department chairperson should submit a PDF of all materials to

A committee of the Graduate Council will oversee the selection process. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Graduate School at

Past Award Recipients


Jason Abbitt, Professor of Educational Psychology

Carole Dabney-Smith, Volwiler Research Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Aaron Luebbe, Professor of Psychology

Elizabeth Hoover, Associate Teaching Professor, Music


Elizabeth Kiel, Associate Professor of Psychology


Jay Smart, Associate Professor of Psychology

Ellen Yezierski, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is committed to advocating and supporting graduate programs dedicated to the pursuit of new knowledge and best teaching practices that promote diverse, globally aware graduate students and faculty.

Graduate Admission

Nellie Craig Walker Hall
301 S. Campus Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056