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Graduate Students' Achievement Award (GSA)

Examples of Scholarly or Creative Activities

  • A graduate student has a creative activity or scholarly work accepted at a professional meeting external to Miami. The professional organization has a formal review process and does not accept all papers submitted (i.e., it is a competitive process).
  • A graduate student is specifically invited to display artworks at an exhibit at another university.
  • A graduate student has a book manuscript or scholarly/creative manuscript accepted for publication in a professional periodical or outlet. There is a formal review process that is selective in nature (i.e., the outlet does not accept all submissions).
  • A graduate student is a PI or CO-PI on an externally funded grant or receives an external fellowship.

To Be Provided by the Applicant

  • Personal Information - Provide your name, address, email address, department, degree program, and Banner ID.
  • Description of the Achievement - Describe the achievement using non-technical language for a non-specialist audience in no more than 300 words. A supporting document may be uploaded (e.g., a journal article, or letter of acceptance to an exhibit) but is not required.
  • Award Worthiness of the Achievement - The applicant must provide a brief, clearly written statement indicating why the one selected achievement is deserving of an award using three criteria:
    • Quality of the work (maximum, 200 words).
    • Significance of the work (maximum, 200 words).
    • The stringency of criteria for acceptance for presentation/publication/exhibit (maximum, 100 words). These statements should be informative and intelligible to non-specialists on the committee.
  • Previous Graduate Student Achievement Awards - All previous Graduate Student Achievement Awards received, if any, must be listed by title and year of the award.

Applicant Submission Process

Applicants should use the following Graduate Students' Achievement Award form to submit their application.

To Be Provided by the Department Chair, Major Professor, or Program Director

  • Department Recommendation - Applications should be endorsed by either the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, or the student’s Major Professor. Recommendations should address the:
    • Quality of work (maximum, 200 words).
    • Significance of work (maximum, 200 words).
    • Stringency of criteria (such as review process; maximum, 200 words).
    • Verification of publication/presentation of the work and place of presentation.

Application Submission

The Department Chair or Major Professor supporting the graduate student's application should use the Graduate Students' Achievement Award form to submit the application.

Evaluation of Applications

Completed applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Student's Achievement Award Committee using the following criteria:

  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • The judgment of the committee resulting from individual readings of the completed applications submitted. The committee recognizes and accepts the responsibility of making decisions, which are based on merit considerations. Accordingly, departmental endorsements of students' achievements are both necessary and vital. Listed below are the specific criteria used by the committee in the evaluation of applications:
    • Quality of evidence presented regarding the significance of the achievement.
    • Quality of departmental endorsement.
    • Quality of the written presentation.
    • Nature of recognition of the achievement.
    • Evidence regarding independence of work.
  • The committee will make only one award to an individual applicant during each round of competition.
  • In the situation where achievement involves a joint presentation or publication with a faculty member, a statement must be included which indicates:
    • The primary contribution to the project has been made by the applicant.
    • The nature and degree of the faculty member's contribution.
  • If your work is an original piece of art (picture, jewelry, sculptures, etc.) please submit electronic photos along with your application.

Past Award Recipients


Govinda Prasad Devokta, doctoral student in Chemistry

Cameron Gardner, doctoral student in Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology 

Rachel Geyer, doctoral student in Psychology

Jenny Kown, doctoral student in Gerontology

Brooke Owen, master’s student in Art

Partha Pratim Pandit, master’s student in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Anil Upreti, doctoral student in Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology 

Prachi Wele, doctoral student in Biology


Yaa Sarfowah Amawnkwah, doctoral student in Chemistry

John A. "Austin" Cobb, master's student in English

McKenna Freeman, doctoral student in Psychology

Selime R. Salim, doctoral student in Psychology

Baylee Schmitt, master’s student in Art

Jessica Schueller, doctoral student in Educational Leadership

Shiwanka Wanasinghe, doctoral student in Chemistry

Ruichao Xie, doctoral student in Chemistry


Andrew Cannizzaro, doctoral student in Biology (EEEB)

Weihao Chen, doctoral student in Cellular, Molecular, and Structural Biology

Mirand Corpora, doctoral student in Social Gerontology

Niki Hayatbini, doctoral student in Psychology

James Hollenbeck, master's student in English

Lauren Jones, doctoral student in Psychology

Masoomeh Kousehlar, doctoral student in Geology

Carter McMaster, master's student in Physics

Sean Monroe, doctoral student in Psychology

Feven Ogbaselase, doctoral student in Psychology

Elizabeth Pettit, doctoral student in Psychology

Natalee Price, doctoral student in Psychology

Gul Muhammad Rind, doctoral student in Educational Leadership

Monica Rahman, doctoral student in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Shiwanka Wanasinghe, doctoral student in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Caitlyn Thomas, doctoral student in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Na Sun, doctoral student in Gerontology


Calvin J. Anderson, doctoral student in Geology

Elizabeth A. Sneddon, doctoral student in Psychology

Athena N. Koumoutzis, doctoral student in Social Gerontology

Lianne C Velazquez Santana, doctoral student in Geology

Anjali T. Jain, doctoral student in Psychology


Kevin M. Burridge, doctoral student in Chemistry

Ashley L. Carroll, master's student in Art

Progyateg Chakma, doctoral student in Chemistry

Watuthanthrige Nethmi De Alwis, doctoral student in Chemistry

Joseph Fredrick, doctoral student in Psychology

Lasith S. Kariyawasam, doctoral student in Chemistry

Viraj Kirinda Liyanage Don, doctoral student in Chemistry

Joe W. Kovac, master's student in Music

Stephanie Padula, doctoral student in Cellular, Molecular, & Structural Biology

Md Nishan Parvez, master's student in Mechanical Engineering

Natalie M. Perkins, doctoral student in Psychology

Asif Rashid, master's student in Mechanical Engineering

Sara E. Stemen, doctoral student in Social Gerontology

Shannon M. Thompson, doctoral student in Psychology

Isuru M. J. Wanigasooriyage, doctoral student in Chemistry

Ruoling Zhang, doctoral student in Chemistry



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