2012 Awards

The Office of Graduate Studies congratulates recipients of the 2012 Folsom Distinguished Dissertation and Thesis awards, the Graduate Teaching and Research awards, and the Excellence in Graduate Education awards. See also: Awardees from other years.


Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award

Funded by the Folsom family through the University of Nebraska Foundation, this award recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research at the doctoral level. Nominated dissertations represent original work making an extraordinarily significant contribution to the discipline.

This year's recipient is Maureen Todd. Todd completed her doctorate in child, youth and family studies under associate professor Yan Ruth Xia and professor John DeFrain. Her dissertation is titled "The Process of Becoming a Strong GLBT Family: A Grounded Theory." Todd is from Rawlins, Wyoming.

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Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Masters Thesis Award

Funded by the Folsom family through the University of Nebraska Foundation, this award recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research at the master's level.

Aprille Phillips is the 2012 recipient. Phillips earned her master's in teaching, learning and teacher education under associate professor Edmund Hamann. Phillip's thesis is "Transnationalism and the Dominican Republic: The Effect on Student Identity and Achievement." Phillips is from Hastings, Nebraska.

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Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education Award honors faculty members whose dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate mentoring have made a significant contribution to graduate education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Patrice McMahon and Xiao Cheng Zeng are the 2012 recipients of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education.

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McMahon is an associate professor in political science. She has served on a total of 24 MA and Ph.D. graduate committees, the advisor for seven Ph.D. students and five Masters students, and reader on six supervisory committees. Her nominator wrote "she has done so much for graduate education from so many different angles: as graduate chair in the Political Science Department, as a teacher of many graduate classes over the years, and in her capacity as advisor or supervisory committee member to an inordinately large number of graduate students in the department. She is deeply committed to working with and mentoring graduate students."

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Zeng is a professor in chemistry and physics and astronomy. The five nominators report that "During the past eighteen years with UNL, over 200 scientific papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, most of them co-authored with his former and current graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Professor Zeng is always willing to give graduate students key suggestions to improve their teaching skills. He has demonstrated, time after time his determination, passion, and patience in guiding and advising graduate students. His diligent work not only has broadened theoretical knowledge of the students in his courses, but also provided them concrete instructions for creative research, and inspired them to pursue scientific discovery."


Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

The Office of Graduate Studies recognizes the valuable role that graduate teaching assistants play in enhancing undergraduate learning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award honors graduate teaching assistants who have demonstrated special effectiveness in teaching undergraduates in a variety of settings.

The 2012 recipients are Susan Martens and Tiffany Wang.

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Martens, of Fremont, Nebraska, is a doctoral student in English and is a teaching assistant under the supervision of professor Robert Brooke.

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Wang, of Arlington, Texas, is a doctoral student in communication studies and is a teaching assistant under the supervision of professor William Seiler.


Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award

This award recognizes the excellent quality of research carried out by UNL graduate students and is given based on the student's on-going outstanding contribution to research, future promise as a researcher, and on the originality, imagination, and significance of their research or creative activity.

The recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Awards are Inés Martinez and Rhitankar Pal.

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Martinez, of Montevideo, Uruguay, is a doctoral student in food science and technology and is working as a research assistant with assistant professor Jens Walter.

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Pal of Calcutta, India, is a doctoral student in chemistry and is working as a research assistant with professor Xiao Cheng Zeng.