The UCF College of Graduate Studies recognized several graduate students and faculty for excellence in research, teaching and mentoring at an awards ceremony during the Graduate Research Forum on March 31, 2015.
Each year the Graduate Council Program Review and Awards Committee reviews college nominations and recognizes graduate student recipients for the University Graduate Awards of Excellence and Awards for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral students. The nominations are very competitive and the selection is an especially challenging task.
The University Award Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching: Melissa Pompos Mansfield, College of Arts and Humanities.
Pompos Mansfield is a master’s student in the Rhetoric and Composition program. She is very dedicated to helping her First-Year Composition students become more effective writers and communicators. Based on her performance as a teacher during her first year as a GTA, Melissa was awarded the Department of Writing and Rhetoric’s Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Excellence Award in Spring 2014.
Winners from each college were: College of Sciences: James Atkinson; College of Engineering and Computer Science: Stephanie C. Bolyard; Rosen College of Hospitality Management: Abdullah Makki
The University Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant: Benjamin Lancaster, College of Arts and Humanities.
Lancaster is a master’s student in the Film program in the School of Visual Arts and Design and has been a teaching assistant for three semesters. His lectures have been superior and his energy is infectious, as it gets the students excited about the material. While working hard in his academic life, Ben is also married, raising a toddler, preparing to shoot his feature thesis film and is holding down two jobs.
Winners from each college were: College of Engineering and Computer Science: Muamer Ali Abuzwidah; College of Education and Human Performance: Hilal Peker-Ozbay
The University Award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis: Matthew Tye, College of Sciences.
Matthew is from the Biology program and was mentored by Dr. Pedro Quintana Ascencio. His thesis is entitled: Integral Projection Models Reveal Interactive Effects of Biotic Factors and Disturbance on Plant Demography. Tye’s research interests are in population modeling, theoretical ecology and biological conservation. His work aims to inform better management and conservation. Matthew is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Nina Sletvold at Uppsala University, Sweden.
Winners from each college were: College of Arts and Humanities: Robert L. Clarke; College of Engineering and Computer Science: Erica R. LaBerge; College of Graduate Studies: Marcus Otte
The University Award for Outstanding Dissertation: Dr. Mohammad Ali Miri, College of Optics and Photonics. Dr. Miri is a graduate of the Optics and Photonics Ph.D. program and was mentored by Dr. Demetrios N. Christodoulides. His dissertation is entitled: Parity-Time and Supersymmetry in Optics.
Dr. Miri’s research is mainly focused on the theory and applications of parity-time (PT) symmetry in optics and has made a number of significant contributions to this field. His dissertation research has led to more than 50 publications, including 18 journal papers. Most of them were published in the highest impact journals of optics and physics, including Science, Nature, Nature Photonics, and Nature Physics.
Winners from each college were: College of Arts and Humanities: Dr. Marcy Galbreath; College of Education and Human Performance: Dr. Stacey Hardin; College of Engineering and Computer Science: Dr. He Shen; College of Sciences: Dr. Walter B. Wilson
Along with graduate students, UCF also recognizes two select faculty members each year that show great dedication and guidance in the mentorship of doctoral students for the Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students in the following disciplines: Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, Business, Fine Arts and Health Sciences and Engineering, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences.
The university recognized Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty and Dr. Rosemarye Taylor for this award.
Dr. Abdel-Aty is the department chair and a professor of civil, environmental and construction engineering. Dr. Abdel-Aty has supervised more than 50 Master’s and Ph.D. students, served on 17 completed Ph.D. committees at UCF as well as nine Ph.D. committees at universities around the world. He currently supervises 10 Ph.D. students.
Dr. Rosemarye Taylor is interim Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs in the School of Teaching, Learning and Leadership and Professor of Educational Leadership. Since 2000, Dr. Taylor has chaired more than 50 dissertation committees for doctoral students, many of whom are administrators or faculty in higher education and leaders in schools or in school organizations.
The following faculty were nominated in the following categories by their graduated doctoral students.
Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, Business, Fine Arts and Health Sciences Nominees
Engineering, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences Nominees