Winners of the Graduate Awards of Excellence

By: Graduate Studies on

The University Graduate Council Awards Committee had the difficult task of selecting the 2012-2013 award recipients from a list of deserving nominees. The awards are given to the most outstanding student nominees, and they are recognized throughout the UCF community as having shown truly exceptional and commendable work. Each university winner received a commemorative plaque, as well as a $1500 cash award.

The students below received the University Graduate Awards of Excellence.

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Meghan DiGiacomo (College of Business Administration) graduates this May with her MBA. She has been a GTA for four semesters in How to Start a Business as well as Strategic Management. DiGiacomo’s teaching interests include organization theory and behavior, leadership, entrepreneurship, and training and development.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

Sean R. McMahon (College of Business Administration) is in the final stages of completing his PhD in Strategic Management in Business Administration. He has been a GTA instructor for Moral Foundations of Business and Capstone Strategy Lab since 2011. McMahan’s teaching interests include entrepreneurship, strategic management, business ethics, management, and leadership.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis

Ashley Ewh (College of Engineering and Computer Science) completed her MS in Materials Science and Engineering in August 2012 and is now working toward her PhD in the same field. The title of her thesis is Effects of Allotropic Transformations on Interdiffusion Behavior in Binary Systems. Ewh has numerous publications based on her Master’s thesis.

Award for the Outstanding Dissertation

Dr. Abhishek Saha (College of Engineering and Computer Science) graduated with his PhD in Mechanical Engineering summer 2012. The title of his dissertation is Evaporation, Precipitation Dynamics and Instability of Acoustically Levitated Functional Droplets. In all, he has published 16 journal papers and 20 conference papers as author or coauthor.

The following students were nominees for the university-level award, as they received the award within each of their colleges. The nominations were very competitive and the selection is always very difficult every year. The quality of work and achievement of those students nominated were remarkable, and all nominees are to be applauded.

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – College Winners

  • Cheryl L. Avila – College of Education, Education PhD
  • Alex Hluch – College of Arts and Humanities, Theatre MFA, Acting track
  • Saeed Hadian Niasar – College of Engineering and Computer Science, Civil Engineering PhD
  • Anne Dalles – College of Sciences, Mass Communication MA

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – College Winners

  • Jennifer A. Oseroff – College of Education, Educational Specialist in School Psychology MA
  • Brittany Pease – College of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences PhD
  • Constance Winning – College of Nursing, Nursing PhD
  • Nicole Owens – College of Sciences, Sociology PhD
  • Catherine Kammerer – College of Engineering and Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering PhD

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – College Winners

  • Omar Vera Muniz – College of Sciences, International Studies MA
  • Ashley Wilt – College of Arts and Humanities, Public History MA
  • Hilda Merino-Chavez – College of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, MS
  • Heidi Albus – Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management MS

Award for the Outstanding Dissertation – College Winners

  • Dr. Sonia H. Stephens – College of Arts and Humanities, Text and Technology PhD
  • Dr. Jennifer M. Johnson – College of Education, Counselor Education and School Psychology PhD
  • Dr. Kimberly A. Medley – College of Sciences, Conservation Biology PhD
  • Dr. Christina M. Amidei – College of Nursing, Nursing PhD
  • Dr. Fehmi Anil Bilgihan – Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Hospitality Education PhD

Congratulations to all of the outstanding winners!

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