The Association of Women Faculty (AWF) designed this graduate student award to recognize women students in their second year of graduate study or beyond who demonstrate scholarly excellence and leadership potential.

[accordion] [accordion_tab title=”2008 – 2009 Awardees” active ] Kelda Martensen, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Overall Award for the Danforth Campus
Kelda has demonstrated outstanding skills in art, leadership and service. An MFA candidate in the College of Art, Kelda has already made a name for herself in printmaking and the book arts. In St. Louis, her work has appeared at the Steinberg Gallery and the Contemporary Art Museum and will be appearing soon at the Chapel (an art and music space associated with the First Memorial Church). Beyond St. Louis, she has contributed to shows at the Kulturprojekte-Berlin in Germany and the Center for the Book at the University of Iowa. In spite of her busy creative schedule, Kelda has found the time to engage in many teaching, service and leadership activities. She has taught printmaking techniques to diverse audiences and organized joint events for the MFA programs in creative writing and the visual arts. She also took the lead on funding and organizing the St. Louis-Berlin Projekte, which involved commissioning art from learning-disabled students at Brittany Woods Middle School and then recreating their work on the Berlin Wall. Her recommender Joan Hall praised Kelda as an artist and organizer who always goes the extra mile.

Caldwell Collins, School of Law, Award for the Professional Schools of the Danforth Campus
A third-year law student, Caldwell has an impressive track record of research, teaching, service and leadership. Soon to be published in the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy is her article “Home Alone: Is This the Best We Can Do? A Proposal to Amend Pending Parental Leave Legislation.” The article critiques pending legislation for reinforcing workplace gender inequalities and offers an alternative approach. Caldwell was also selected through a competitive process to teach an undergraduate course this spring on “Women and the Law.” Finally, she has carved out time for service and leadership. During her second year in law school, she served as president of the Women’s Law Caucus and helped coordinate an effort to increase faculty diversity at the law school. This year, she is serving as editor-in-chief of the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. Her recommenders Kent Syverud, Susan Appleton and Karen Tokarz praise her as “a uniquely talented individual, with enormous intelligence, maturity, and leadership ability—and a life-long commitment to women’s rights and equal justice for all.”

Mary Brunstrom, Department of Art History, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences
Mary has proven herself to be a leader both in and out of academia. Before beginning graduate work, Mary founded and directed the Austral Gallery, a St. Louis venue dedicated to exhibiting contemporary Australian (including aboriginal) art. In 2005, she earned a master of arts from Washington University in St. Louis, then enrolled in 2006 in the Department of Art History and Archaeology as a doctoral candidate. Mary’s passion is early modernist architecture, and she has already begun to develop an impressive track record of research and leadership in this area. Her MA thesis studied the response to architectural modernism here in St. Louis between the two world wars. She has built on this research to present numerous papers at academic conferences around the world. Most recently, she collaborated with Professors Peter MacKeith and Eric Mumford to co-curate the exhibition On the Riverfront: The Gateway Arch and St. Louis, which explores the work of Eero Saarinen. Professor Angela Miller praises Mary “for the model she offers of a life in which academic, social and civic interests are seamlessly blended.
[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”2007 – 2008 Awardees” ] Christina Boyd, Department of Political Science
Christina has demonstrated outstanding skills in research, leadership and service. A doctoral candidate in the School of Arts & Sciences, Christina brings an interdisciplinary perspective to the fields of judicial politics and empirical legal studies. Her research is innovative in its focus on developing mathematical models to study the U.S. district courts. Several conference papers based on this research have brought her recognition, including the 2007 Pi Sigma Alpha award of the Midwest Political Science Association Meeting for a co-authored paper. In addition to her research, Christina has also developed an impressive record of service and leadership. Last summer, she supervised a team of twenty students engaged in an NSF-funded study of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cases in the district courts. Reflecting on her work, her recommenders Pauline Kim and Margo Schlanger noted that Christina “demonstrated intense drive, intellectual curiosity, sophistication, attention to detail and insight–just the package one wants in a student and colleague.”

Yosafa Deutsch, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
According to Professor Arny Nadler, Yosafa “is a tenacious worker who challenges herself as a thinker and a maker.” A candidate for the MFA in the Graduate School of Art, Yosafa uses videos, multimedia installations and sculptures to explore issues about the body. Her work has already been spotlighted in three solo exhibitions, including “Yosafa Deutsch: Breakdown” at the Sheldon Gallery in St. Louis. In spite of her busy creative schedule, Yosafa has also found the time to engage in numerous teaching and leadership activities. These include developing a curriculum for the 2007 St. Louis ArtWorks summer program and helping students design a shade shelter for the St. Louis Science Center. Yosafa has also served as the representative from the Graduate School of Art to the Graduate and Professional Council.

Monika Ray, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
A fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Monika has an impressive track record of research, leadership and service. Her research focuses on applying computational biology to complex diseases. Although a graduate student, her leadership in this area was recognized in 2006, when she was invited to talk about this research to biologists at the National Institute of Health. She has also carved out the time for service, including serving as president of the Graduate Student Association of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 2007-2008. Her nominator, Weixiong Zhang, wrote “Monika is an exceptional young scientist who has great potential for carrying out first-rate research and playing leadership roles in her professional life in the future.”

Keona Ervin, Department of History
Keona has proven herself to be a leader in research, teaching and service. Her dissertation “Entitled to Live: Black Women Labor Activists, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Gendered Politics of Freedom in St. Louis 1933-1973” challenges long-held views about working-class black women, labor politics and civil rights. Her nominator Andrea Friedman predicts that Keona’s thesis “will influence numerous fields, including African American history, labor history, urban history, and women’s and gender history.” As a mentor in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program, she has guided independent research projects and led discussions on topics as varied as diversity and graduate school. She has even taught her own courses in the St. Louis public schools, including most recently one on “Youth Activism and the St. Louis Civil Rights Movement.” Finally, Keona has taken part in search committees, contributed to panel discussions and in many other ways demonstrated her commitment to serving the campus community.
[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”2006 – 2007 Awardees” ] Moriah Beck, Department of Biochemistry
Moriah has demonstrated outstanding skills in research, leadership and service. A doctoral candidate in the School of Arts & Sciences, Moriah studies proteins in viruses and fungi. She has already published three articles on her research. In addition to her research commitments, Moriah has also found time for professional service. She was student director of Washington University’s “Young Scientist Program” (YSP) from 2002 to 2005. This program has been very successful in science outreach activities targeted to school-age children, their teachers and families. According to her nominator, Professor Thomas Woolsey, “Moriah has brought her enormous talents to bear to take YSP to new levels. Under her directorship a formal endowment drive has gotten off the ground and…new initiatives have been taken to better track all the participants and new areas of science brought on line for local students.” Moriah was also a founding member and has served as president of the St. Louis chapter of the Association of Women in Science. All of this led Professor Woolsey to observe in his letter of nomination that Moriah “is truly one of the most exceptional persons I have known at Washington University, regardless of position.”

Leslie Hasche, Brown School
According to her nominator, Professor Nancy Morrow-Howell, “Leslie may be the best doctoral student I ever mentored.” A doctoral candidate in the Brown School, Leslie has long been interested in the field of geriatric mental health. Her dissertation assesses various strategies for improving how social services treat depression in older adults. She has already published two articles on her research and given numerous conference presentations. Professor Morrow-Howell also praised Leslie’s oral and written communication skills and her ability to work well on team projects. One testimony to this is her extensive teaching experience, as both an assistant and instructor, at the school. Another is her participation in several externally-funded research projects supported by the National Institute of Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health. All of this led Leslie’s second nominator, Professor Enola Proctor, to write that “Leslie is one of those rare students who is ready to lead the way by addressing cutting-edge questions…She is a joy to work with and…has a bright future.”

Emily Kissel, Department of Psychology
A doctoral candidate in the program in clinical psychology, Emily has excelled in many areas. Her research focuses on the health and caregiving experiences of older adult couples. In a forthcoming article, Emily presents her most recent results on the misconceptions that married couples often have about medical conditions and treatments. She has tackled related topics in several other publications and conference presentations. In addition to her scholarly activities, Emily has shown clear evidence of leadership in service. She has played a key role in Memory Care Home Solutions, a St. Louis non-profit for those taking care of family members with Alzheimer’s disease. Emily has also been active in providing psychological assessments and psychotherapy in a variety of programs, including the Psychological Services Center associated with the Department of Psychology and the BJC hospice. Her nominator, Professor Brian Carpenter, predicts that “the impact of [Emily’s] work will extend far beyond her own discipline. In both career and community, Emily will use her intelligence and compassion to inspire others, to guide others and to help others.”
[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”2005 – 2006 Awardees” ] Stacey DeZutter, Department of Education

Sophie Fortin, Department of Philosophy

Beverly Yang, School of Law
[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”2004 – 2005 Awardees” ]

Michelle Johnson, Department of Biology
Michelle is a fourth-year graduate student in the Evolution, Biology and Population program of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. She was nominated by Professor Jonathan Loses who writes that Michele’s research is “at the forefront of evolutionary biology.” Her work addresses the role that habitat structure play in determining the social organization of a species. Michele has several publications, has received grants for her research and was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to her qualifications as a researcher, the selection committee for the award was impressed by her active efforts to recruit more women to the graduate program in biology and to involve the faculty in such efforts.

Tara Sinclair, Department of Economics
Tara is in her final year of study in the PhD program of the Department of Economics. Her research focuses on macroeconomic fluctuations in the labor market, such as unemployment and pension contracts. She has been an active participant in top academic conferences, has several publications, a successful teaching record at Washington University and has received several grants including a dissertation fellowship. Additionally, Tara is a member of the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession. She was nominated by Professors Steven Fazzari and James Morley who note in their letter that she is an outstanding scholar, teacher and a leader among her fellow graduate students.

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Glynis O’Garro Joseph, Department of Education
Glynis is working on a doctoral thesis that examines the lives of black girls in urban elementary schools. Her nominator, Dr. Garret Duncan writes that “Glynis’s work clarifies how school practices contribute to a range of outcomes in ways that make transparent their implications for school reform at fundamental levels.” Glynis is both a Washington University Chancellor’s Fellow and a Danforth Fellow. She was recently selected as a semi-finalist for the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, the most prestigious award for doctoral students in education. She has served as co-chair of the Department of Education Spring Forum and a Mellon Fellow Mentor. Glynis has also served the community as a writing coach at University City High School and as a tutor at a St. Louis public elementary school.

Stacey Freedenthal, Brown School
Stacey is a doctoral student at the Brown School specializing in “suicidology,” the study of how to assess and to intervene on suicidal behavior. She is an Olin Fellow. As a research assistant for Dr. Arlene Stiffman’s American Indian Multisector Help Inventory Study for the last two years, Stacey has in Dr. Stiffman’s words “taken the lead and initiative in maximizing the study’s focus on suicidality.” Stacey has also interviewed Vietnam veterans at risk for suicide and helped develop a study of master’s level education in suicide prevention. In addition to her academic and teaching activities, she has participated in 54 hours of training in suicide assessment and intervention for a crisis hotline and works on a task force that organizes conference activities for young investigators.

Sara Aton, Department of Biology
Sara is a doctoral candidate in her third year in the Program in Neuroscience in the Department of Biology. According to one of her nominators, Professor Karen O’Malley, Sarah has “made important contributions to the field of circadian rhythm.” She is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the ORAU Graduate Student Award which is given to 25 outstanding graduate students who have received independent funding from the National Science Foundation. She was accepted into the Markey Pathway in Human Pathobiology, a highly selective training program that admits students from 12 graduate programs in the biological sciences to pursue research in human diseases. She has also been active in mentoring and tutoring fellow students and aiding in recruitment efforts.

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D’Arcy Meyer-Dombard, Earth and Planetary Sciences
D’Arcy is working on a doctoral thesis in geochemistry and microbiology, a new interdisciplinary field which has only recently been given the name Geobiology. Professor Jan Amend writes that D’Arcy “almost singlehandedly” built his state-of-the-art experimental microbial geochemistry lab. She has been the recipient of the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship and the Dean’s Travel Award. In addition to her many scholarly achievements, D’Arcy initiated the Ongoing Graduate Research (OGRES) program, an open weekly forum for graduate students in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Xiuxia Du, Systems Science and Mathematics, School of Engineering & Applied Science
Xiuxia is conducting interdisciplinary doctoral research in computational neuroscience and information theory. Working with her WU advisor Professor Bijoy Ghosh and prominent biologists from the University of Chicago, she is working on a mathematical model for how a turtle sees. Her nominator, I. Norman Katz writes that this is “an extremely challenging and important problem which may enhance our understanding of human vision.” Xiuxia has also been actively involved in the Association of Graduate Engineering Students and currently serves as president. She had never been outside of the People’s Republic of China before coming to Washington University in 1999.

Christina Linsenmeyer-van Schalkwyk, Department of Music
Christina has done preparatory work for a dissertation on the violin maker, Vuillaume. Professor Robert Snarrenberg writes that “her work will contribute to cultural history by elucidating how our current tendency to prize old instruments came about.” In addition to her course work and research, Christina has served as the co-president of the Graduate Student Senate; she is a member of the executive planning committee of this year’s National Graduate Student Leadership conference; and she has served on the Sesquicentennial General Planning and Community Service committees.

[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”2001 – 2002 Awardees” ]

Cathy Marler, AWF Appreciation Award

April Seager, German, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences

Andrea Easley, Romance Languages, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Kathrine Tillery, International Affairs, Award for University College

Michele Owens, Art, Award for the Professional Schools of the Danforth Campus

Portia Adams, Brown School, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools of the Danforth Campus

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Helen Power, AWF Appreciation Award

Julia Hohberger, Department of Psychology, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences

Cheryl Long, Department of Economics, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Carol Hilles Ballot, Award for University College

Qin Zhang, Olin Business School, Award for the Professional Schools

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Mary Ann Dzuback, AWF Appreciation Award
Mary Ann assisted with the establishment of the AWF, the preparation of the AWF Newsletter, mentoring of women on the Washington University and other campuses, the preparation of the Report on the Status of Women Faculty, and more. She also served as Vice President of the History of Education Society.

Jessica Logan, Department of Psychology, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences
Jessica works on projects related to cognitive processing in healthy young, healthy older adults, and in individuals with early stage Alzheimer’s Disease. The faculty member nominating her remarked, “I have known Jes for about two years now. Very simply, Jes is a star in our graduate program. In addition to her research and coursework, Jes has been a central figure in the graduate program both within our department and at the university. This year, she is the president of the graduate Student Senate. She has developed an award for outstanding faculty mentor, and has also developed a committee that will focus on increasing administrative awareness for graduate career planning. Obviously, Jes is not simply ‘business as usual’ in her role as president.”

Robin Lammi, Department of Chemistry, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences
The faculty nominating Robin, praises her “totally independent” work on Molecular Electronic Applications. The nominator goes on to say “I apologize for such a long nomination letter. As you can see, I am so impressed with my student Robin Lammi that I believe that others should understand what an exceptional student and individual she is. She has demonstrated scholarly excellence in all aspects of her work and clearly has the leadership potential that we all desire to see in our students. I have not had a student who was or is more worthy of being recognized by the AWF for an award.”

Jean Kersting, International Affairs, Award for University College
The faculty nominating Jean said, “Jean Kersting is a remarkable woman. She is co-owner and vice-president of an insurance agency in Kirkwood, but that is only the beginning of her activities. Chairperson of the Special Business District, Chairperson of the Citizen’s Finance Committee, President Kirkwood Rotary Club, and the 1999 Kirkwood Citizen of the year. During the same period she undertook several international activities in the Middle East, Mexico, and Cuba all the while maintaining a high G.P.A. Jean Kersting is and will continue to be a community leader; she will also remain a lifelong learner.”

Elaine Killmer, Master of Liberal Arts Program, Honorable Mention for University College
The faculty nominating Elaine said, “Elaine Kilmer is not your typical graduate student; nor is she your typical high school science teacher- her profession. By day, Elaine is biology teacher in John Burroughs School, where she worked on the construction of a general biology textbook and in 1997, and was chosen biology teacher of the year for the state of Missouri in 1999. By night she is part-time graduate student who studies American drama to philosophy and literature. Elaine Kilmer represents perhaps the best in adult education: the trained professional who seeks more, who is never through learning.”

Beth Burke, Heather Leawoods and Michelle Michelson, School of Law, Awards for the Professional Schools
These students saved an undergraduate course on Women & the Law from being discontinued. They approached the Dean with the idea of starting a tradition in which members of the Women’s Law Caucus would keep this course offered every year as “public service” to the university. The faculty that nominated them remarked, “Although I have intentionally emphasized their group project, Beth Heather and Michelle each have significant individual accomplishments. Beth has been chosen to serve as the Editor-in-chief of Washington University Law Quarterly next year. Heather currently serves in this position and Michelle is one of the University’s distinguished Olin Fellows. I nominate this project and the three women who undertook it. For me, it exemplifies the energy, commitment, intelligence, and leadership that AWF seeks to recognize.”

Emily Garabedian, Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools
The faculty member nominating Emily remarks, “Emily is an extraordinarily talented individual who is a member of our MD/PhD program. Her thesis project produced a novel transgenic mouse model of metastatic prostate cancer. Emily is extremely bright, well read, and creative. She has an intrinsic energy that allows her to push complex projects forward. Emily is a natural leader. She has played a large role in organizing activities for student and faculty participants in our Developmental Biology Program.”

Sofia Hirakuri, School of Law, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools
The faculty member nominating Sofia remarks, “Sofia is an extraordinarily talented, committed, and courageous individual. As an undergraduate and graduate law student in Brazil, Japan, and the United States, she has already made substantial contributions to the field of international environmental law, particularly in the area of sustainable forestry management. Throughout her academic career, Sofia has been combining rigorous intellectual analysis with focused and insightful critique of environmental policies and practices. Sofia is fluent not only in her native portuguese, but also in English, Japanese, and Spanish. She is wonderful and inspiring to work with.”
[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”1998 – 1999 Awardees” ]

Tiffany Tibbs, Psychology, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences
Tiffany is a third-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Health Psychology. We found particularly impressive Ms. Tibbs’ commitment to women’s issues, including her contributions to a project addressing diet in low-income African-American Women and her work in assisting women come to terms with breast cancer. Professor Edwin Fisher, who nominated Ms. Tibbs, described her as “extraordinarily talented” and noted her poise, maturity and generosity; as well as her outstanding performance across the three domains of course work, professional training, and research.

Malaina Brown, Anthropology, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Peggy Neufeld, Education, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Robin Dowell, School of Engineering, Award for the Professional Schools
Robin is a second-year student in the School of Engineering’s new Biomedical Engineering program. In his letter, Professor David States wrote highly of Ms. Dowell’s leadership and energy in shaping the Genome Analysis program at the Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering. Dr. Sean Eddy, who also submitted a letter, described Ms. Dowell as “phenomenally qualified” and praised her leadership and her rare “interdisciplinary crosstraining.”

Tara Casey, School of Law, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools

Jill Hickson, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies and School of Law, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools

Melissa A. Banjak, American Culture Studies, Award for University College
Melissa is in her final semester in the part-time M.A. program in American Culture Studies. Associate Dean Anne Hetlage’s nominating letter emphasized the “innovation, professionalism, and leadership” that Ms. Banjak (an eighth-grade English teacher at North Kirkwood Middle School) brings to teaching. Dean Hetlage also praised Ms. Banjak’s commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and her interest in the diverse cultural backgrounds of her students.

[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”1997 – 1998 Awardees” ]

Patricia Tom, Art History, Award for the School of Arts &  Sciences

Laura Beal, Chemistry, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Jennifer Slosar, History, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Sarah Cox, Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, Honorable Mention for the School of Arts & Sciences

Kelly Koenig, Law School, Award for the Professional Schools

Yuhua Chen, Electrical Engineering, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools

Amy Murphy, Computer Science, Honorable Mention for the Professional Schools

[/accordion_tab] [accordion_tab title=”1996 – 1997 Awardees” ]

Hester Baer, German, Award for the School of Arts & Sciences
Ms. Baer is an Olin Fellow, who promoted greater student-faculty intellectual interaction in her department, served as a representative to the Graduate Student Council and actively encouraged the professional development of her peers in the department.

Julie Miller-Cribbs, Brown School, Award for the Professional Schools
Ms. Miller-Cribbs developed a course in human diversity and made electronic resources in this area available to students in the school.

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