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Faculty Recognized for Teaching, Advocacy, and Program Excellence

Professor Sally Thurston and student Joe CiminelliProfessor Sally Thurston Receives Outstanding Graduate Course Director Award

Dr. Sally W. Thurston was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Graduate Course Director Award at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Opening Convocation ceremony on September 8, 2016. 

The nomination process was initiated by Drs. Mike McDermott and Robert Strawderman based on feedback from Ph.D. student Joe Ciminelli, and supported by letters or written statements from all students in Dr. Thurston’s spring 2016 course, BST512: Topics in Statistical Inference II -  Advanced Bayesian Inference. 

In his student nomination letter, Joe Ciminelli noted that “without comparison, this course ranks as the top formal educational experience I have had in graduate school” and that Dr. Thurston “is a teacher at her core, dedicated to students and their learning.”

Professor Matthew McCall Presented with Graduate Student Society Advocacy Award

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) has selected Dr. Matthew N. McCall to receive the 2015 Graduate Student Society Advocacy Award. This annual award recognizes one faculty member's significant contributions to the quality of life and education for graduate students, including leading and/or contributing to academic events, social events, community outreach, and philanthropic efforts.

Professor Michael McDermott Named as Outstanding Graduate Program Director

Dr. Michael McDermott received the Outstanding Graduate Program Director Award at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Opening Convocation ceremony on September 9, 2015. This award is given to an outstanding graduate program director who has made exceptional and/or unique contributions to a graduate program and the graduate student experience within his/her respective program. 

The Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dr. Robert Strawderman, states: “Mike cares very deeply about the quality of our graduate program and the success of its students. Serving as our Director for 15 years is a testament alone to his unwavering commitment. Mike treats students with respect. He is sensitive to their academic and personal concerns, finding solutions to problems where needed in ways that address individual needs while maintaining academic integrity and program rigor. Through his approachability and willingness to serve as a source of both academic and personal advice, he has clearly fostered a culture of respect and unwavering trust in his judgment. He is a very strong and effective advocate for students both within the department and in the University more broadly.”

Professor Christopher Beck Selected for Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award

Dr. Christopher Beck was presented with the Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Opening Convocation on September 12, 2013. The selection of the awardee is based on the instructor’s record of excellence in classroom instruction, as reflected by the letter of nomination from students enrolled in one or more courses in which the teacher has delivered a significant number of lectures and by course-instructor survey evaluations.

Beyond the University of Rochester: Drs. Sally Thurston, David Oakes, Michael McDermott, and Andrew McDavid are current mentors in the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences ("Math Alliance"). We are proud to be recognized as a Math Alliance Graduate Program Group since 2015 and remain committed to ensuring that all students thrive.