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Graduate Studies Awards

Argersinger Dissertation Award
Through the generosity of William and Marnie Argersinger, and with the cooperation of the KU Endowment Association, Graduate Studies is pleased to offer the Argersinger Prize for an outstanding doctoral dissertation. William J. Argersinger was the first vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and dean of the graduate school. The award includes a cash prize and is presented at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony in May.
Nomination Process

Each department with a doctoral program is invited to submit one nomination. To nominate a doctoral student, please submit a letter of nomination in PDF form to graduate@ku.edu by 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 18, 2016. The nomination letter should briefly describe the dissertation's quality, originality and significance. The letter should indicate to a person outside the discipline why the dissertation is considered outstanding.

As specified by the donors, nominees must have passed the dissertation defense with honors. Students must have defended their dissertation on or after April 16, 2016 and before April 18, 2017.

If the dissertation has been submitted through the ETD process, a copy will be obtained by Graduate Studies. If the dissertation has not been submitted, please make arrangements to provide Graduate Studies an electronic copy.

The student who receives the prize is not required to be present at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, although we welcome the opportunity to present the award in person.

Nominations for the Argersinger award will also be considered for nomination for the Council of Graduate Schools/UMI distinguished dissertation award (more info here)

Byrd Graduate Educator Award
The Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award was established to honor the memory of Louise Byrd, long-time Secretary of the Graduate School and of the Graduate Council.  Louise Byrd was noted for her deep concern for the welfare of graduate students.  Each year, in her memory, a faculty member who demonstrates concern for graduate students as scholars and individuals is presented this award. This award includes a cash prize and the winner’s name is presented at the annual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.
Nomination Process:

All regular members of the Graduate Faculty are eligible to receive this recognition. Graduate students, past or present, and graduate faculty members are invited to nominate a member of the graduate faculty.  The nomination should address these issues:

  • The nominee’s extraordinary devotion to graduate students and their education.
  • The nominee should be a distinguished, active scholar in his or her field.
  • The nominee should exhibit a proven record of continuing interest in the growth and success of graduate students, expressed through quality lectures, availability, psychological support, graduate research advising, and contact outside the classroom.
  • A description of the nominee’s impact on his or her students’ accomplishments as scholars and in the quality of professional appointments in their field.
  • Clear evidence should be presented that the nominee’s concern for graduate students goes significantly beyond that of the average, but dedicated, member of the Graduate Faculty. Supporting letters from colleagues and current or former students and an updated curriculum vita greatly strengthen the nomination.

To nominate a professor for the graduate educator award, please utilize this nomination form to provide a letter of nomination, a copy of nominee’s curriculum vita and letters of support from graduate students, faculty, alumni and others. Submit the nomination no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 29, 2016.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards
The Office of Graduate Studies invites nominations for the Chancellor, Carlin and Outstanding GTA Award to recognize excellence in teaching by graduate students at the University of Kansas.  Awardees receive monetary prizes and are recognized at the Graduate Student Award Ceremony. The Chancellor and the KU Endowment Association generously provide funding for these awards. Deadline for nomination is 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 29, 2016.
Nomination Process:

Nominations must be made by the nominee’s department or program.  Departments/programs may nominate no more than two (2) graduate teaching assistants. Nominations will be made using this nomination form. Inclusion of undergraduate student feedback as part of the submission is encouraged. Each completed nomination should be submitted using the form below, by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016. Nominations must be submitted electronically; no paper nominations will be accepted.  Please contact Graduate Studies at 864-8040 if you have any questions.

Distinguished Service Awards
The Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service was established in 1983 and is presented annually to a graduate student who has demonstrated a genuine commitment to serving the University of Kansas while maintaining a high level of academic achievement.
Nomination Process:

The Office of Graduate Studies is accepting nominations for the Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service.  Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to nominate outstanding graduate students. The award will be announced at the Graduate Student Awards Ceremony in April.

Please upload the following materials with this nomination form

  • A letter of nomination explaining how the nominated student has demonstrated a commitment to serve the campus community (two page limit)
  • The nominee should provide a statement of activities, interests, and goals that directly demonstrates service to the University of Kansas (two page limit)
  • A copy of the student’s resume or curriculum vitae

Each completed nomination should be submitted using the form below by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016. Nominations must be submitted electronically; no paper nominations will be accepted.  Please contact Graduate Studies at 864-8040 if you have any questions.


Outstanding Graduate Support Staff Award
The quality and continuity of graduate programs at the University of Kansas, as well as the experience of the graduate students in the programs, depend in large measure on the talent and commitment of the graduate support staff. Staff members provide invaluable service to the University and its community of students, faculty, and staff. The Outstanding Graduate Support Staff Award recognizes the incredible contributions to graduate education made by these individuals.
Nomination Process:

Nominees must have served as a graduate support staff for a minimum of two years by the award deadline. Past awardees are not eligible. Departments/programs must submit the following materials by 5 pm, April 4, 2016

  • Nomination Cover Sheet found here
  • One letter of support from a faculty member  
  • Two letters of support from current and past graduate students

Letters should address the nominee’s significant impact, which may involve some or all of the following:

  • Efficiency and effectiveness in administrative aspects of the graduate program—fiscal, programmatic, and personal—from the time students are recruited to the time they graduate
  • Being proactive in exploring alternatives to current practices   
  • Responsiveness to faculty and student needs
  • Attention to accuracy and effective communication
  • A willingness to engage in professional development opportunities, such as learning new technology or new systems that enhance recruitment, admission, retention, progress toward degree, mentoring, and annual reviews of students, etc.
  • Providing a welcoming and supportive environment for students in their graduate studies

Individual letters may not exceed two single-spaced pages (12 point font).

Submission Instructions:

Nominations with all required materials must be submitted in PDF to graduateawards@ku.edu

Please contact Graduate Studies at 864-8040 if you have any questions.

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