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Updated 2:30 PM July 7, 2005




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Faculty, GSIs feted by Rackham Graduate School

Three faculty members and 20 graduate student instructors (GSI) have been honored by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies through three annual awards programs that recognize scholars and teachers of exceptional quality.

Michael Morris, professor of chemistry, is the recipient of the Sokol Award in the Sciences—given annually to a tenured faculty member with at least a partial appointment in one of the following departments: Astronomy; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Chemistry; Geological Sciences; Mathematics; Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; or Physics.

Morris will receive a $25,000 award that recognizes his outstanding contributions to graduate education and scholarship in the sciences. He will lecture on the topic of his choice in April 2006. As part of the award, Morris also will designate a student to receive the Margaret and Herman Sokol Postdoctoral Award of $10,000, which accompanies the Sokol Faculty Award.

Two faculty members have received the John H. D'Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities—Geoff Eley, professor of history, and David Potter, professor of classical studies. The D'Arms Award was created in honor of the former vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School from 1985-95, to recognize scholars and/or creative artists of extraordinary depth and breadth who have provided their students with the finest intellectual support.

A provision has been made for one or two students in the graduate programs of each recipient to receive a John H. D'Arms Graduate Student Award for Summer Research Travel in the Humanities.

The Outstanding GSI Awards are designed to honor instructors who have demonstrated: exceptional ability and creativity as teachers; efforts to refine their own teaching skills and assist others with the same; service as outstanding mentors and advisors to their students, colleagues and others needing help; and growth as scholars in the course of their graduate programs.

This year the recipients and their departments are: Amit Ahuja, Political Science; Christopher Becker, Slavic Languages and Literatures/Linguistics; Prosanta Chakrabarty, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Jeremiah Chamberlin, English Language and Literature; Nathan Connolly, History; Peter Esselman, School of Natural Resources and Environment; Victoria Gardener, Near Eastern Studies; Jennifer Kennell, Cellular and Molecular Biology; Edward Knotek, Economics; Sara Lalumia, Economics; Jill Lamberton, English Language and Literature; Matthew Merrins, Molecular and Integrative Physiology; Kirsten Olds, History of Art; Keith Pecor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Amy Rauer, Psychology; Ryan Rynbrandt, Political Science; Victoria Roth, Romance Languages and Literatures; Tracie Rubeck, American Culture; Periandros Samothrakis, Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Nicole Zarrett, Psychology.

A ceremony honoring the recipients of the D'Arms and Outstanding GSI awards will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Rackham Amphitheatre. A reception will follow in the Assembly Hall. The event, which will feature a keynote address by Earl Lewis, provost of Emory University and former dean of the Rackham Graduate School, will be hosted jointly by the Rackham Graduate School and the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

For more information, contact Natalie Bartolacci at (734) 647-2640 or

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