About | Awards and Recognition

The GSA annually confers five awards in recognition of exemplary service to graduate students at Rice University. The deadline for submissions is around April 1 of each year. The awards committee is chaired by the Parliamentarian (who takes office on April 1) and includes four other graduate students chosen at a GSA meeting, as well as the GSA faculty advisor and a member of the Rice Office of Student Activities as ex officio members.

The GSA awards are meant to encourage and recognize outstanding service to graduate student life and education at Rice. The award criteria were intentionally kept vague in order to permit recognition of the broadest possible range of service to the Rice graduate community.

Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award

Recipients are selected based on demonstrated commitment to graduate education on teaching graduate students at Rice. The award consists of $1,500, funded through the Office of the President, and a plaque. Up to two awards may be conferred each year.

Recipients include:

  • 1994: John Boles (History) and Paul Cloutier (Space Physics and Astronomy)
  • 1995: Ellsworth Milburn (Music)
  • 1996: John Anderson (Geology and Geophysics)
  • 1997: Douglas Schuler (Jones School)
  • 1998: Katherine Ensor (Statistics) and Robin Sickles (Economics)
  • 1999:James Faubion (Anthropology) and Diana Lobel (Religious Studies)
  • 2000: Willy Zwanaepoel (Computer Science) and Robert Patten (English)
  • 2001: Peter Caldwell (History) and Walter Chapman (Chemical Engineering)
  • 2002: Yildiz Bayazitoglu (Mechanical) and John Biln (Architecture)
  • 2003: Kyriacos Athanasiou (Bioengineering) and Michelle Hebl (Psychology)
  • 2004: John B. Boles (History) and Rebekah Drezek (Bioengineering)
  • 2005: Chris Kelty and Hannah Landecker (Anthropology) and Steven Crowell (Philosophy)
  • 2006: Jordan Konisky (Biochemistry and Cell Biology) and Brett Ashley Leeds (Political Science)
  • 2007: Thomas Haskell (History) and Robert Raphael (Bioengineering)
  • 2008: Janice Hewitt (Cain Project) and Stephan Link (Chemistry)
  • 2010: Margaret Beier (Psychology) and Ramon Gonzalez (Chemical Engineering)
  • 2011: Michael Wong (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Kurt Kasper (Bioengineering)
  • 2012: Royce Carroll (Political Science) and Sibani Lisa Biswal (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • 2013: Leo Costello (Art History) and Helena Michie (English)
  • 2014: Jane Grande-Allen (Bioengineering) and Tim D. Cochran (Mathematics)
  • 2015: Matthias Henze (Religious Studies) and Philip Ernst (Statistics)
  • 2016: Junghae Suh (Bioengineering) and Loren Raun (Statistics)
  • 2017: Jose F. Aranda, Jr. (English) and Diane Wolfthal (Art History)
  • 2018: Ashutosh Sabharwal (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Fabiola Lopez-Duran (Art History)
  • 2019: Mustafa Amin (Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy) and Marcia O'Malley (Professor, Mechanical Engineering)
  • 2020: Dr. Emily Houlik-Ritchey (Assistant Professor of English) and Dr. Renata Ramos (Associate Teaching Professor of Bioengineering; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Engineering)
  • 2021: Dr. Danielle King (Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences) and Dr. Julian West (Assistant Professor of Chemistry)
  • 2022: Dr. Kaden Hazzard (Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2023: Dr. Benjamin Lansford (Professor in the Practice of Accounting; Director of the Master of Accounting Program) and Dr. Kevin McHugh (Assistant Professor of Bioengineering)

Faculty/Staff Service Award

Recipients are selected in recognition of efforts beyond the call of duty to improve the quality of life for graduate students at Rice. The award consists of a plaque. Up to two awards may be conferred each year.

Recipients include:

  • 1994: Robert Patten (Studies in English Literature and English)
  • 1995: Jane Dunham (International Services) and Diana Welch (Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering)
  • 1996: Evelyn Nolen (Journal of Southern History)
  • 1998: Sarah Nelson Crawford (Student Activities) and Linda Rassinier (Geology and Geophysics)
  • 1999: Julie Kudelka (Bioengineering) and Iva Jean Jorgensen (Computer Science)
  • 2000: Adria Baker (Office of International Students/Scholars) and Mona Hicks (Office of Student Activities)
  • 2001: Cheryl Mattherly (Director of Career Services) and Bruce Johnson (Chemical Engineering)
  • 2002: Tracy Michelle Voltz
  • 2003: Theresa L. Chatman (Project Manager of AGEP) and Sandra Flechsig (Earth Science)
  • 2004: Dr. Tianhong Dai (Postdoctoral Research Associate in Bioengineering)
  • 2005: Somarine Sam Diep (OISS), Dolores Schwartz (Biochemistry and Cell Biology), Iva Jean Jorgensen (Computer Science)
  • 2006: Doug Schuler (Jones School), Maria Maldonado (Facilities Engineering and Planning)
  • 2007: Martha Alexander (ECE-LANP) and Kevin Kirby (VP Administration)
  • 2008: Carlos Amaro (Bioengineering) and Mark Pierce (Bioengineering)
  • 2010: Kate Abad (Student Activities)
  • 2011: Lanita Martin (Psychology) and Nathan Zuege (Facilities Engineering and Planning)
  • 2012: Philippa Angelides (Student Activities) and Courtney Wyly (Jones Graduate School of Business)
  • 2013: Kay McStay (SEL Studies in English Literature) and Rita Riley (Linguistics)
  • 2014: Jennifer Gucwa (Psychology) and Stephanie Spicer Frey (Humanities)
  • 2015: Kristina McDonald (Humanities) and Shirley Tapscott (Sociology)
  • 2016: Jennifer Hunter (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Theresa Chatman (Diversity Recruitment and Engagement)
  • 2017: Jean Aroom (Fondren) and Nathan Zuege (Facilities, Engineering and Planning)
  • 2018: Kathleen Canning Dean (School of Humanities) and Kim Hardy (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • 2019: Shirley Tapscott (Department Coordinator and Graduate Program Director, Sociology) and Adria Baker (Associate Vice Provost for International Education)
  • 2020: Kate Abad (Director, Student Center) and Alexa Schwartz (Assistant Director, Alumni Programs) 
  • 2021: Beth Leaver (Interim Executive Director of Rice Housing & Dining) and Pam On (Graduate Program Administrator - Chemistry)
  • 2022: Nathan Zuege (Facilities, Engineering and Planning)
  • 2023: Anna Julia (Graduate Program Administrator - English) and Susan Cates (Assistant Chair - BioSciences)

Robert Lowry Patten Award

The Robert Lowry Patten awards, funded by an endowment, are intended to honor graduate students who might not have been honored for their service and achievements on behalf of graduate students. The award is named in honor of the GSA's previous, esteemed faculty advisor. The award consists of $400 and a plaque. The maximum number of awards given in any year is based on the amount the endowment has yielded for the year.

2021: Anirudh Bhateja (PhD Grad, Mechanical Engineering)

Recipients include:

  • 1998: Mark A. Nichols (Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science), Heidi Elizabeth Zeimer (Psychology), Kristin Heather Griffith (Psychology) and David J. Mendelow (Jones School).
  • 1999: Kristin Peterson (Anthropology), Shannon Leonard (English), Scott Berger (Mathematics) and Michelle Shearer (Geology and Geophysics).
  • 2000: Aimee Placas (Anthropology), Desrey Fox (Linguistics), Arnaud Chevallier and Prasanna Gandhi (Mechanical Engineering and Material Science).
  • 2001: Jae Chung (Anthropology), Jennifer Steele (Physics and Astronomy), Alejandro Chaoul (Religious Studies) and David Streutker (Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2002: Auleen Ghosh (Chemical), Xinyu (Frank) Zhao (Chemical) and Zheng Huang (Mathematics)
  • 2003: Michelle Calabretta (Biochemistry and Cell Biology), Elizabeth Fenton (English), Busheng Li (Chemical Engineering) and David Messmer (English)
  • 2004: Fefei Lou (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Eden King (Psychology), and Miles Scotcher (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)
  • 2005: Xiaoyang Bai (Biochemistry and Cell Biology), Vinod Kumar (Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science), Eden King (Psychology), Summer Nijjer (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
  • 2006: Sushant Madhukul Dutta (Mechanical Engineering), Aramis Martinez (Physics and Astronomy), Kadim Tasdemir (Electrical Engineering), Ahmand Khoshnevis (Electrical Engineering)
  • 2007: Jennifer Greeson (Bioengineering), Mark Little (Earth Science), Louise Organ (Bioengineering), Hao Yang (Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2008: Noah Bedard (Bioengineering), Laura Renee Chandler (History), Shuijing Li (Mathematics), Nadhi Thekkek (Bioengineering)
  • 2009: Yi Chen (Physic), Nastassja Lewinski (Bioengineering), Darren Roblyer (Bioengineering), and Daniel Stark (Physics)
  • 2010: Michael Cuchiara (Bioengineering), Chinmay Hegde (ECE), Maude Rowland (Bioengineering) and Joseph Young (ECE)
  • 2011: Sayantan Chatterjee (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), Mike Matson (Chemistry), David Splinter (Economics), and Sumedh Warudkar (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • 2012: Anne Hellebust (Bioengineering), Clark Needham (Bioengineering), Gabriel Ceriotti (Chemistry), and Victor del Carpio Neyra (Economics)
  • 2013: Jeff Ahern (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Heng Ji (Physics and Astronomy), Arunima Ray (Mathematics), David Solis (Applied Physics)
  • 2014: Kelly Weber (History), Kiri Kilpatrick (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), Robert LikamWa (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Katia Zavistovski (Art History)
  • 2015: Lynn M. Fahey (Sociology), Anneli R. Hoggard (Chemistry), Emily Thomas (Biosciences)
  • 2016: David Ramirez (Electrical and Chemical Engineering), Xiang Zhang (Applied Physics/Materials Science and NanoEngineering), Cat Majors (Bioengineering), and Sarah Michelle Kim (Computer Science)
  • 2017: Alicia Mangubat (Chemistry), Catherine Majors (Bioengineering), Ian Kinstlinger (Bioengineering), Lee Chen (Computer Science), Pratiksha Dongare (Applied Physics), and Santiago Martinez Legaspi (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • 2018: Christoph Wagner (Shepard School of Music), Emily "Emm" Fulk (Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology), Joshua Hill (Applied Physics - Physics), Mary Natoli (Bioengineering), Tawana Robinson (Chemistry), and Sydney Gibson (Bioengineering)
  • 2019: Mary Natoli (PhD Student, Bioengineering), Jason Guo (PhD Student, Bioengineering), Christoph Wagner (D.M.A student, Shepard School), and Kelly McKisson (PhD Student, English)
  • 2020: Thasneem Frousnoon (PhD Student, Chemistry), Josh Hill (PhD Student, Applied Physics & Physics), Jackson Borchardt (PhD Student, Earth and Planetary Sciences), Taehoon Im (PhD Student, Business Administration, Jones School of Business)
  • 2021: Rachael Alfant (PhD Student, Computational Applied Mathematics and Operations Research), Vanessa Espinoza (PhD Student, Chemistry), Alison Farrish (PhD Student, Physics and Astronomy), Eduardo Ibarra Garcia Padilla (PhD Student, Physics and Astronomy), and Kimberly V. Jones (PhD Student, History)
  • 2022: Anirudh Bhateja (PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering)
  • 2023: Mario Escobar (PhD Student, Biochemistry and Cell Biology)

GSA Service Award

Recipients are selected based on contribution of time, effort, and devoted service to the cause of improving graduate student life and education at Rice. The award consists of $500, funded by the GSA, and a plaque. Up to two awards may be conferred each year.

Recipients include:

  • 1991: Robert Schmunk (Space Physics)
  • 1992: Dusty Capistran (Philosophy)
  • 1993: Sue Minkoff (Computational and Applied Mathematics)
  • 1994: Joseph Elias (Electrical Engineering)
  • 1995: Rob Butera (Electrical Engineering) and Laurie Feinswog (Computational and Applied Mathematics)
  • 1996: Maeve McCarthy (Computational and Applied Mathematics)
  • 1997: Chris Stokes (History)
  • 1998: Joy Roth (Geology and Geophysics) and Russell Hale (Jones School)
  • 1999: Erin Williams (Biochemistry and Cell Biology) and Heidi Ziemer (Psychology)
  • 2000: Julia Smith-Wellner (Geology) and Andrea Frolic (Religion)
  • 2001: Ilse Guzman-Jiminez (Chemistry) and Hillary Young (Linguistics)
  • 2002: Zhongping Jian (Electrical) and James Yager(Biochemistry)
  • 2003: Musie Ghebremichael (Statistics) and Miles Scotcher (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)
  • 2004: Robert Cardnell (Biochemistry and Cell Biology) and Balaji Sitharaman (Chemistry)
  • 2005: Joanna Papakonstantinou (Computational and Applied Mathematics) and Marcos Huerta (Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2006: Cristina Hofmann (Chemistry) and Angela Noel Hvitved (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)
  • 2007: Jordan Miller (Bioengineering) and Hui Zhan (Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2008: Nikhil Gheewala (Bioengineering) and April Smith (Bioengineering)
  • 2009: Michael Contreras (Civil Engineering) and Eileen Meyer (Physics)
  • 2010: Kristjan Stone (Physics) and Brent Carey (Applied Physics)
  • 2011: Corinne Allen (Psychology) and Daniel Stark (Physics and Astronomy)
  • 2012: Sumedh Warudkar (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Brian McCall (Bioengineering)
  • 2013: Anne Hellebust (Bioengineering), Kiri Kilpatrick (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • 2014: Michael "Goat" Domeracki (Religious Studies) and Jonathan "JD" Dornell (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)
  • 2015: Alessandra Forcucci (Bioengineering) and Andrea Schlather (Chemistry)
  • 2016: Lynn Fahey (Sociology) and Kyle G. Sweeney (Art History)
  • 2017: Emily Reiser Evans (Bioengineering) and Miller Wright (History)
  • 2018: Wai San Ng (Philosophy) and Sarah Kim (Computer Science)
  • 2019: Taehoon Im (PhD Student, Jones School of Business) and Jordin Metz (PhD Student, Chemistry)
  • 2020: Dr. Jessica Edry (Rice PhD Grad, Political Science) and Dr. Alana G. Semple (Rice PhD Grad, Earth and Planetary Sciences)
  • 2021: Anastasia Newheart (PhD Student, Physics and Astronomy) and Danielle Perdue (PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering)
  • 2022: Nina Cook (PhD Student, Department of English)
  • 2023: Joshua Moore (PhD Student, Biochemistry and Cell Biology)

"Friends of Rice Graduate Students" Award

Recipients are selected in recognition of individuals who have significantly enhanced the lives of graduate students at Rice University in some way. This award is a token of appreciation to honor people within and beyond the Rice community who may not otherwise be recognized for their service to graduate students. Candidates for the award may or may not be members of the Rice community, but they should not be eligible for the other four awards. The award shall consist of a plaque.

Recipients include:

  • 2000: Mary Lou Margrave
  • 2001: Purvez Captain
  • 2002: John Schroeter
  • 2003: Darlene Weist
  • 2004: Jonel Curl and Mary Lou Margrave
  • 2005: Abeer Mustafa and Sarah Kennedy
  • 2007: Austin Chapter of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
  • 2009: Christopher Revell
  • 2010: Late Thomas Blakeney
  • 2011: Abhinav Tiwari (Bioengineering)
  • 2012: Paula Sanders, George Hirasaki (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Gayle Schroeder (Bioengineering)
  • 2013: Alex Ferrance (Facilities Engineering and Planning)
  • 2014: Tim Abraham (Student Center) and Anne Hellebust (Bioengineering)
  • 2015: Sarah Tooth (Statistics) and Dean Seiichi Matsuda (GPS)
  • 2016: Purvez Captain (Economics Alumnus), Kevin Kirby (Administration), and Nikolay Kostov (Mechanical Engineering Alumnus)
  • 2017: Adria Baker (International Education; Office of International Students and Scholars), Andrew Tessmer (Center for Career Development), and Rice University Housing & Dining
  • 2018: Kristjan Stone (Physics Alumnus)
  • 2019: Frank Cano (Rice Alumnus)
  • 2020: Dr. Mary B. McIntire (Rice Alumni Board member, retired dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, and Rice PhD alumna)
  • 2021: Kathleen Canning (Dean, School of Humanities)
  • 2022: Elizabeth Tippee (Academic Administrator, MSNE)
  • 2023: Monique Shankle (Past President, ARA Board)


"Graduate Student Association Lifetime Contribution" Award

  • 2020: Joshua Hill (PhD Student, Applied Physics)
  • 2021: Alison Farrish (PhD Student, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2022: Hannah Pearce (PhD Student, Bioengineering)
  • 2023: N/A