Graduate school of arts and sciences

Eleven named Prize Teaching Fellows

Teaching is one of the most important things that graduate students do as part of their professional development. The Prize Teaching Fellowships recognize the best teachers and mentors as nominated by undergraduates. Student nominations, good academic standing, a satisfactory dissertation progress report, and the support of department chairs help the selection committee choose the fellows.

This year, 11 students received the Prize Teaching Fellowship, which includes a cash prize of $3,000: Samuel Bhutto (inorganic chemistry), for his standout combination of “teacher, fellow scientist, mentor, and friend” which he embodied with “refreshing grace”; Joshua Gailey (historical musicology), for his musical intuition and leadership qualities which befit “a wonderful teacher with a contagious passion for music”; Brandon Hubbard (physiology), for his willingness to “go beyond the textbook” which rejuvenated students’ “excitement for attending graduate schools”; Lucia Hulsether (religious studies), a second-time prize recipient, for her “brilliant intellectual attention” and for demonstrating “everything that makes for a great professor”; LiLi Johnson (American studies), for “formidable gifts as a researcher, critical scholar, and writer which have also made her an excellent teacher”; Marko Mitrovic (computer science), for “going above and beyond the call of duty every time” to give students extra help “without undermining the complexity of the material”; Ahyan Panjwani (economics), for his “excellent teaching methods, clear and precise explanations, and constant concern for student understanding”; Javier Portillo (biochemistry), for “competence in the subject matter which was only matched by the lengths he would go to, to ensure students were on their way to mastery as well”; Cera Smith (English) for her work on Love and Hate in the American South with the prediction that she “will go on to become an outstanding professor in the coming years”; Yingqi Tang (political science), for combining “rigor and high expectations with an infectious sense of discovery”; and Sarah Zager (religious studies), for making Philosophy of Religion “so engaging and fascinating that [the classes] always ended far too soon.”

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