The Graduate Student Association (GSA) has honored five faculty, staff members and students for their service to the George R. Brown School of Engineering and Rice University.
Faculty-Staff Service Award: Kim Hardy, graduate and undergraduate program administrator for materials science and nanoengineering (MSNE). In her nominating letter, Cindy Wilkes, MSNE’s senior department administrator, writes:
“She is a student advocate and has developed many new processes to support their well-being. Kim has developed a mentor program, she has an orientation meeting with all incoming graduate students for an informational session and she brings up issues in faculty meetings for the purpose of resolution. She fights for student rights and has an open-door policy.”
Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award for 2017-18: Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). In her nominating letter, Rajoshi Biswas, sixth-year graduate student in ECE, writes:
“I think Ashu’s greatest strengths are in truly understanding his students’ characters, acknowledging their uniqueness and molding his mentoring approach to bring out the best. He also deeply cares about the immense health-care inefficiencies and how we as engineers can improve it through practical contributions rather than just publishing a lot of papers.”
GSA Service Award: Sarah Kim, fifth-year graduate student in computer science and GSA vice president for finance. In his nominating letter, Josh Hill, a fourth-year graduate student in applied physics and GSA vice president for student development, writes:
“Managing the complicated GSA budget with its streams of receipts from various officers and directors is a challenging and sometimes thankless duty. Sarah doesn’t tend to draw much attention to herself, but when she gives input on an issue it is always well thought out, and a meaningful contribution to the discussion.”
The Robert Lowry Patten Award is shared by Sydney Gibson, fifth-year graduate student in bioengineering (BIOE) and president of the GSA, and Mary Natoli, fourth-year graduate student in BIOE. In his nominating letter for Gibson, Rice president David Leebron writes:
“Sydney has shown that her potential is great. The leadership she has shown in the past year demonstrates her dedication to making a better life for her graduate peers. She is forward-thinking, dedicated, balanced, positive and focused leader who ensures both that her constituents’ needs are being met and that bridges are built with other constituencies.”
Catherine Majors, a sixth-year graduate student in BIOE, writes in her nominating letter that Natoli has served on the GSA’s Mobility Safety Committee and the Parking Committee, and as the president of the Rice University Cycling and Triathlon Club, and as captain of the GSA Women’s Beer Bike team.
“Mary’s service to the GSA may seem small,” Majors writes, “but it has had a big impact. She deserves to be recognized and honored for her service to the GSA.”