Graduate Students' Achievement Award

Roudebush Hall in the Fall/Winter Roudebush Hall in the Fall/Winter
 Miami sundial at sunset  Miami sundial at sunset
President Crawford with a student at the Graduate Research Forum President Crawford with a student at the Graduate Research Forum
 Alumni Judge with a student in front of their research poster  Alumni Judge with a student in front of their research poster
 Master student hoods during commencement  Master student hoods during commencement
 Doctoral graduates at May commencement clapping  Doctoral graduates at May commencement clapping

The Graduate Students' Achievement (GSA) Award is intended to recognize significant achievement in any research or creative activity by full or part-time graduate students making satisfactory progress in their degree program. 

The GSA Award will recognize graduate students from each degree-level and their outstanding accomplishments during the course of their studies – Master’s degree student award(s) and Doctoral degree student award(s).

For purposes of this award, achievement is specifically defined as completed works that have been recognized externally to the department and university. Completed works means the work is finished and has occurred prior to submission for this award (e.g., the showcase or presentation is complete, written work is published or accepted for publication).

Examples of scholarly or creative activities include:

  • 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 art works 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.

All applications are due by Nov. 1 at 5:00 p.m. for Fall awards and by Apr. 1 at 5:00 p.m. for Spring awards.

Application Guidelines

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:

  1. Quality of the work (maximum, 200 words).
  2. Significance of the work (maximum, 200 words).
  3. 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 Qualtrics link to submit their application form. 

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

Department Recommendation

Applications should be endorsed by either the Department Chair or the student’s Major Professor. Recommendations should address the:

  1. Quality of work (maximum, 200 words).
  2. Significance of work (maximum, 200 words).
  3. Stringency of criteria (such as review process; maximum, 200 words).
  4. 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 following Qualtrics link to submit their application form.

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:
    1. Quality of evidence presented regarding the significance of the achievement.
    2. Quality of departmental endorsement.
    3. Quality of the written presentation.
    4. Nature of recognition of the achievement.
    5. 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:
    1. The primary contribution to the project has been made by the applicant.
    2. 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.

Recipients of Achievement Awards

Thanks to generous alumni donations, the Graduate Achievement Fund gives awards to students who excel in their field each year. These donations support student research, conference attendance, and other tools to strengthen the graduate education experience. To receive an award from the Graduate Student Achievement Fund, students must complete a rigorous application and describe in depth why they are deserving of these esteemed prizes. 

2022 Winners

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

Selime R. Salim, doctoral student in Psychology

2021 Winners

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

2020 Winners

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

2019 Winners

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

2018 Winners

Pankhuri Aggarwal, doctoral student in Psychology

Prachi Bhuptani, doctoral student in Psychology

Mojtaba Edalatpour, master's student in Mechanical Engineering

Dustin Hornbeck, doctoral student in Educational Leadership

Lasith Kariyawasam, doctoral student in Chemistry

Katelyn Palmer, master's student in Educational Psychology

Rachel Pilla, doctoral student in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

Justin Pratt, doctoral student in Chemistry

Jessica Smith, master's student in English

Brenda Tyrrell, doctoral student in English

Elizabeth Weeks, master's student in English

Nicolyn Woodcock, doctoral student in English

Thaiesha Wright, doctoral student in Chemistry

2017 Winners

Tasneem Amatullah, doctoral student in Educational Leadership

Aeriel Ashlee, doctoral student in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Wladyslaw Betkowski, doctoral student in Geology

Lauren Forrest, doctoral student in Psychology

Winona Landis, doctoral student in English

Amy McDonnell, doctoral student in Psychology

Ellen Parsons, doctoral student in Psychology

Marissa Smith-Millan, doctoral student in Psychology

2016 Winners

Annabelle Arbogast, doctoral student in Gerontology

Jsaon Deska, doctoral student in Psychology

Shannon Fasola, master's student in Geology and Earth Science

Melissa Fuesting, doctoral student in Psychology

Anne Kalomiris, doctoral student in Psychology

Kathryn Mancini, doctoral student in Psychology

Mary Munroe, doctoral student in Psychology

Minqian Shen, doctoral student in Cell, Molecular, & Structural Biology

Jieming, Shi, doctoral student in Cell, Molecular, & Structural Biology

Robert Skoumal, doctoral student in Geology and Earth Sciences