Pioneering Spirit Awards Banquet

Pioneering Spirit Awards Banquet Save the Date 2018

During the month of April the GCS hosts the annual Pioneering Spirit Awards banquet to celebrate graduate students and those who support them. This event allows the GSC to recognize distinguished graduate students, graduate faculty, and staff members by awarding them for their outstanding contributions in the graduate community at Texas Woman’s University.

Watch a video of the 3rd annual Pioneering Spirit Awards Banquet from April 2017.

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2014-2015

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Wyllijanna Cole
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Jacob Blosser, Department of History & Political Science
  • Distinguished Department – Pioneer Center for Student Excellence
  • GA Award of Excellence – Patricia Levasseur, Department of Sociology & Social Work
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Joanna Lara, Department of Sociology & Social Work
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Jenice Anthony, Department of Dance
  • Master's Student Award – Bryant Williams, Department of Music Therapy
  • Doctoral Student Award – Reanae McNeal, Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2015-2016

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Elaine Cox, Librarian
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Debra Mollen, Department of Psychology & Philosophy
  • Distinguished Department – Department of English, Speech & Foreign Languages, Dr. Genevieve West
  • GA Award of Excellence – William Ash-Houchen, Department of Sociology & Social Work
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Nicole Masek, Department of Family Sciences
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Maggie Bohm, Department of Sociology & Social Work
  • Master's Student Award – Jessica Murphy, Department of Visual Arts
  • Doctoral Student Award  – Jamie Jones, Department of English, Speech & Foreign Languages

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2016-2017

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Sarah Faber, Department of Biology
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Debbie Buckingham, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Distinguished Department – Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies
  • GA Award of Excellence – Michelle LaSpata, Department of Psychology & Philosophy
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Alissa Pettit, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Tamra Dollar, Department of Reading
  • Master's Student Award – Haley Mowdy, Department of History & Political Science
  • Doctoral Student Award – Brittany McGeehan, Department of Psychology & Philosophy

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2017-2018

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Sarah Faber, Department of Biology
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Carolyn Da Silva, Department of Physical Therapy
  • Distinguished Department – Department of Sociology & Social Work, Chair Dr. Celia C. Lo
  • GA Award of Excellence – Whitney Barlow, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Yasar Arfat Kasu, Department of Biology
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Martheya Nygaard, Department of Dance
  • Master's Student Award – Mikaela Wilk, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Doctoral Student Award – Dawn Murphy, PhD in Nursing

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2018-2019

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Dr. Lionel Faure, Department of Biology
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Camelia Maier, Department of Biology
  • Distinguished Department – Department of English, Speech & Foreign Languages, Dr. Genevieve West
  • GA Award of Excellence – Joseph Reyes, Department of Music Therapy and Counseling
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Patricia Flint, Department of Teacher Education
  • GTA Award of Excellence – James “Mike” Fraley, Department of English, Speech & Foreign Languages
  • Master's Student Award – Kalia Aparicio, Department of Health Care Administration
  • Doctoral Student Award – Heather Gerling, PhD in Sociology

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2019-2020

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Ivy Naude, Department of Sociology and Social Work
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Dr. Dayna Averitt, Department of Biology
  • Distinguished Department – Health and Wellbeing Initiative, Director Michelle Reeves
  • GA Award of Excellence – Emilio Rios-Jimenez, Department of Music Therapy and Special Education
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Bhoomi Madhu, Department of Biology
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Marcella Clinard, Department of Multicultural Women’s & Gender Studies
  • Master's Student Award – Emily Ramser, Masters in English and Teaching
  • Doctoral Student Award – Esther Ajayi-Lowo, Ph.D. in Multicultural Women’s & Gender Studies

Pioneering Spirit Award Winners for 2020-2021

  • Distinguished Staff Member – Jillian Morales, Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Distinguished Faculty Member – Xiaofen Du, Department of Nutrition and Food Science
  • GA Award of Excellence – Alexandra Woodson, Department of Psychology and Philosophy
  • GRA Award of Excellence – Meredith Higgins, Department of  Psychology
  • GTA Award of Excellence – Jonbita Probst, Department of Sociology
  • Master's Student Award – Olivia Mata-WIlliams, Department of Social Work
  • Doctoral Student Award – Daytheon Sturges, School of Health Promotion

Graduate Faculty, Staff, and Department Awards

The following awards offer graduate students an opportunity to highlight faculty, staff, and departments for outstanding support of our educations at TWU and beyond:

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

This award honors an outstanding faculty member for extraordinary teaching and contributions to graduate education. Mentorship is foundational to the mission of TWU and is of great consideration in this award. Faculty distinguished by this award display a devotion to graduate students that marks the utmost dedication to our educational community.

The Distinguished Staff Supporting Graduate Students Award

This award recognizes support staff members who help create the behind-the-scenes foundation of our learning community. This is distinguished through excellence in job performance, a positive, supportive attitude, and other contributions made to enable TWU to fulfill its educational mission.

The Distinguished Department Supporting Graduate Students Award

This award recognizes a department for overall contributions to the support of graduate students. These contributions might include excellence in teaching, availability of research opportunities for students, TWU community relations, graduate mentoring, outreach and professional development, administration, and staff support.

Graduate Student Awards

The following awards offer departments an opportunity to highlight students for their outstanding work as graduate students:

The Graduate Student Teaching Award of Excellence

This award recognizes the contributions of a graduate student to teaching and learning at TWU. This is a tremendously important award as it honors outstanding graduate students, reminds the campus that teaching is a central part of the university’s mission, and can inspire students and professors to give increased attention to the educational process.

The Graduate Assistant Award of Excellence

This award recognizes a graduate student who has served in positions of administrative and educational support to other faculty and staff members. This award pays tribute to the behind-the-scenes efforts of an exceptional individual and her/his contributions to the undergraduate learning community here at TWU.

The Graduate Research Assistant Award of Excellence

This award recognizes a student for outstanding contributions to the research community here at TWU. The award focuses on both the student’s independent research experience and collaborative research projects. The novelty and implications of research performed are also considered.

The Doctoral Student Award of Excellence

This award honors an exceptional doctoral student for their significant contributions and accomplishments in the experiential learning of a doctoral program here at TWU. This award confers honor upon individuals who, by their contributions to their field and the community, have brought recognition to themselves and the university.

The Master's Student Award of Excellence

This award recognizes a distinguished Master’s student for their scholastic aptitude, creative contributions beyond the degree or departmental requirements, and commitment to igniting potential, purpose and a pioneering spirit. This award bestows honor upon a scholar who intentionally develops the learning community at TWU in such areas as cohort leadership and community citizenship.

Page last updated 12:12 PM, June 16, 2021