Top graduate students honored at annual celebration

Nancy Marcus

Nancy Marcus, dean of The Graduate School at Florida State.

Florida State honored the achievements of its graduate students in teaching, research, creativity and leadership at the university’s annual Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence on April 17. The Graduate School, the Office of Research and the Congress of Graduate Students co-sponsored the event.

Florida State psychology Professor Richard Hyson, director of the university’s Program in Neuroscience, addressed the graduate students. Reflecting on why he loves what he does, Hyson encouraged the students to continue their intellectual curiosity and praised them for their dedication and contributions to the university community.

Joining Hyson during the ceremony was Nancy Marcus, dean of The Graduate School, Jennifer Feltman, coordinator of the Fellows Society, and Judy Hefren, a graduate student in the College of Social Work.

“It was an honor to meet these exceptional graduate students,” Marcus said. “On behalf of The Graduate School, we offer congratulations to all of them for their outstanding achievements.”

During the event, several awards were presented.

The recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, nomi­nated by faculty, staff and students, were recognized for excellence in teaching and for their substantial contribution to student learning at Florida State. The recipients of this award were: Brittany Kraft (Biological Science); Carly Ryan (Biological Science); Debra Trusty (Classics); Travis Smith (Modern Languages and Linguistics); Robyn Braun (Educational Psychology and Learning Systems); and Melissa Bamford (Sociology).

Abráham Peña-Talamantes (Sociology) and Jane McPherson (Social Work) received the distinguished Graduate Student Leadership Award.

Recipients of the Research and Creativity Award were recognized for outstanding research and creativity in the academic community at Florida State. They were: Debra Trusty (Classics); Paul Ardoin (English); Timothy Kellison (Sport Management); Jane McPherson (Social Work); Jingyong Su (Statistics); and Jeremy Weiss (Materials Science & Engineering).

Two nationally recognized programs are housed in the Graduate School — the Preparing Future Faculty Program and the Preparing Future Professionals Program. Both programs offer academic graduate certificates. In 2012-2013, 12 graduate students completed either the Preparing Future Faculty Certificate or the Preparing Future Professionals Certificate. These students were: Aisha Azhar (Public Administration); Austin Boyle (Economics); Lindsay Dixon (Interior Design); Jinxuan Ma (Information Studies); Azhar Manzoor (Public Administration); Summer McWilliams (Sociology); Lisa Nixon (Applied American Politics); Abráham Peña-Talamantes (Sociology); Plato Smith (Information Studies); Jennifer Toole (Communication); Gregory Toole (Mathematics); and Joseph Vonasek (Public Administration).

The PIE Teaching Associates also were recognized for serving the teaching and learning community of the university this past year. These graduate students are: Karen Bareford (Urban and Regional Planning); Austin Boyle (Economics); Amy Bustin (Modern Languages and Linguistics); Elizabeth DiDonna (Art); Urska Dobersek (Educational Psychology and Learning Systems); Judith Hefren (Social Work); Timothy Kelleher (Geography); Takudzwa Madzima (Food, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences); David Moody (English); Samantha Pazos (Dance); Katherine Pierson (Theatre); Christopher Rosbough (Criminology); and Giuseppina Valle (Sociology).

Steve Zimmer, business development manager for Sony Direct, also attended the ceremony because of the Sony Corporation’s partnership with the FSU Computer Store and The Graduate School. Through the partnership, randomly selected graduate students and junior faculty members received technology packages featuring a Sony Vaio Notebook, a Sony MP3 player and a Sony Webbie HD camera.

During the reception, the Graduate School hosted a poster session, which showcased the current research of graduate students from various disciplines: Jhoana Antiquino (Interior Design); Nikki M. Caruso (Dance); Sarah Leonard (Chemical Engineering); Zarko Manojlovic (Biomedical Sciences); and Jane McPherson (Social Work).

Graduate students at Florida State continue to accrue nationally competitive honors, grants, and fellowships, as well as embody the founding principles of the university: Vires, Artes, Mores. A few examples of their recent accomplishments include:

•Alexis Allen (Marketing), Marketing Science Institute Grant;
•Lisa Barrow (Biological Science), Lewis and Clark Field Scholar, East Texas Herpetological Society Grant, Rosemary Grant Award, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant and NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant;
•Danika Bellamy (Urban and Regional Planning), Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship; •Brendan Biggs (Biological Science), Reef Care Curacao Research Grant and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fellowship;
•Jill Bisco (Risk Management/Insurance), Spencer Scholarship;
•David Brown (Psychology), Erasmus Mundus Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Exchange Fellowship (University of Leipzig);
•Tiffany Brown (Psychology), Academy of Eating Disorders Student Research Grant; •Elizabeth Bryant (History), Fulbright Full Grant (Poland);
•Eva Caro (Interior Design), Donghia Foundation’s Donghia Scholar;
•Deirdre Carter (Art History), Medieval Academy of America’s Schallek Fellowship;
•Stephen Collins-Elliott (Classics), Fulbright Full Grant (Italy);
•Marian Crotty (Creative Writing), Fulbright Full Grant (United Arab Emirates);
•Jonathan DaSo (Information Studies), American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship;
•Jeremy Douthit (Accounting), Institute of Management Accountants Grant;
•Robert Ellis (Biological Science), Professional Association of Diving Instructors Foundation Research Grant;
•Eileen Fancher (Spanish), Language Learning Journal Award, Dissertation Research Award;
•June Heather Farineau (Family and Child Sciences), Andres Nazario Jr. Diversity Award;
•Natasha Fortune (Information Studies), Florida Library Association Minority Scholarship;
•Brandy Gatlin (Special Education), Lydia Donaldson Tutt-Jones Memorial Research Grant Award;
•Catharine Greene (Information Studies), Florida Library Association Scholarship Award;
•Amy Griffin (Interior Design), National American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers Student Research Grant;
•Josh Grinath (Biological Science), Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Graduate Fellowship;
•Whitney Guthrie (Psychology), Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowship (Autism Speaks);
•Jennifer Hames (Psychology), Greater Good Science Center/John Templeton Foundation;
•Christine Helfrich (Marriage and Family Therapy), Fulbright Full Grant (Canada);
•Bradley Hostetler (Art History), A. G. Leventis Foundation Scholarship, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Grant;
•Megan Jones (Biological Science), Organization for Tropical Studies Post-Course Grant;
•Amber Kinsey (Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences), American College of Sports Medicine’s Leadership and Diversity Training Award;
•Joung Hwa Koo (Information Studies), American Society for Information Science and Technology Elfreda A. Chatman Research Proposal Award;
•Sharde’ McNeil (Family & Child Sciences), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Minority Fellowship;
•David McNutt (Biological Science), NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant;
•Haddie Njie (Education), Association of American University Women;
•Gina O’Neal-Moffitt (Biomedical Sciences), Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Scholarship;
•Benjamin Pope (Biological Science), NIH National Research Service Award (F31) Cancer Fellowship;
•Jennifer Powell (Social Science Education), James Madision Foundation Graduate Fellowship;
•Nathaniel Ramos (Information Studies), Gates Millenium Scholar;
•Sara Rañon (Accounting), Florida Insitute of CPAs Scholarship;
•Azmat Rasul (Communication), Fulbright (Patkistan);
•Bessie Reina (Urban and Regional Planning), Fulbright Full Grant (Bulgaria);
•Tania Reynolds (Psychology), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship;
•Jessica Ribeiro (Psychology), Dissertation Research Grant Denver Research Institute;
•Janna Rosenthal (Urban and Regional Planning), Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship;
•Carly Ryan (Biological Science), Professional Association of Diving Instructors Foundation Research Grant;
•Sean Santalla (Urban and Regional Planning), Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship;
•Jamie Schindewolf (Urban and Regional Planning), Jeannie Fewell Scholarship, Florida Planning and Zoning Association Outstanding Student Award;
•Christopher Timm (Art History), Getty Research Institute Library Grant;
•Carla Vanderbilt (Biological Science), Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Grants-in-Aid of Research;
•Lindsey Whittington (Information Studies), Florida Association of Media Education Scholarship;
•Renee Wikaire (Sport Management), Fulbright (New Zealand); and
•Ming-Chia Yeh (Exercise Physiology), Pre-doctoral Training Fund in Exercise Sciences by Taiwan Government.