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Community Awards

Award Description

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Community awards honors folks in our community at UC San Diego who exceed expectations in their contributions to graduate and professional student life. Please send in your nominations for this year’s community awards! Nominations due by Friday, March 17, 2023. Award categories and descriptions are:

  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award - This award honors a faculty member at UC San Diego who is an exceptional mentor of graduate and/or professional students. The awardee makes mentorship a priority in his or her research career and puts emphasis on ensuring that their students are constantly receiving guidance when they need it, while maintaining the student’s freedom to explore their research as an individual.
  • Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award - This award honors a faculty member at UC San Diego who is an exceptional educator at the graduate and/or professional level. The awardee goes above and beyond the expectations of his or her curriculum, providing carefully constructed lessons or lectures with attention to the needs and progress of his or her students. The awardee is efficient and enthusiastic in communicating concepts to their classes, and leaves students satisfied and enriched after every lecture.
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Peer Mentor Award - This award honors a graduate student at UC San Diego who has proven to be an excellent source of advice and wisdom for their colleagues in the graduate school. The awardee shows a strong willingness and ability to advise his or her fellow graduate students on issues related to academics or general life skills, and whose peer mentorship has significantly enhanced the graduate school experience of their colleagues.
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Support Staff Award - This award honors a UC San Diego staff member who has gone above and beyond their job requirements in assisting graduate and/or professional students. The awardee shows strong empathy for and understanding of the challenges facing graduate and/or professional students and has exemplified compassionate and efficient professionalism in their interactions with graduate students both within and outside their home department. The actions of this awardee have significantly relaxed the daily stresses and concerns of graduate and/or professional students, enhancing their overall experience.
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Leader Award - This award honors a UC San Diego graduate and/or professional student who has proven to be a strong and committed leader in the graduate and professional student community. The awardee has tirelessly advocated for graduate and professional students on their behalf and has shown exceptional ability to represent the interests of the entire graduate and professional student body. The actions of this awardee have significantly improved the lives of graduate and professional students at UC San Diego through advocacy.
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Group Award - This award honors a UC San Diego graduate and/or professional student organization that has displayed unwavering dedication to improving and organizing its community. Through diligent attention to organization and motivation, the organization has made significant and tangible advances in the lives of their constituents in the UC San Diego community.


Nomination Deadline

Nominations must be submitted to this link by Friday, March 17th, 2023.


Notification of award

Award winners will be notified of their selection by Friday, April 21th, 2023. Awardees will be honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023. 


Questions? Contact the GPSA VP Campus at


Previous Award Winners

2022 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship:  Eva Loeser (Mathematics)
  • Professional/Grad Student Leader: Angela Garais (Rady School of Management) and Ross E. Turner (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Professional/Grad Student Support Staff: Dr. Erilynn Heinrichsen (Teaching + Learning Commons)
  • Faculty Mentorship:  Dr. Richard Daneman (Pharmacology and Neurosciences)
  • Faculty Teaching:  Dr. Elizabeth Lyons (School of Global Policy and Strategy)
  • Community Leaders: Kristin Leadbetter (Theater and Dance)

2021 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship:  Madison Edwards (Chemistry & Biochemistry) 
  • Professional/Grad Student Leader: Evangelos “Vaki” Nikitopoulos (Mathematics) 
  • Professional/Grad Student Support Staff:  Scott Rollans (Mathematics)
  • Faculty Mentorship:  Dr. Judith Fan (Psychology) 
  • Faculty Teaching:  Dr. Cinnamon Bloss (Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and HumanLongevity Science)
  • Community Leaders:  Elizabeth Bullard (Biological Sciences) 

2020 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Adrielly Hokama Razzini (Structural Engineering)
    • Honorable Mention: Lisa Mash (Psychiatry)
  • Grad Student Leader: Maryam Pourebadi (CSE)
    • Honorable Mentions: Lauren Rowley (Rady), Andy Ryan (Biology)
  • Grad Student Support Staff: Jessica Flores (Music)
    • Honorable Mentions: Dr. Erica Bender (Teaching + Learning Commons), Gilbert Bretado (SIO), Suzi Harlow (Biology)
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Erin Suzuki (Literature)
    • Honorable Mention: Dr. Neal Devaraj (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. Christena Turner (Sociology)
    • Honorable Mention: Dr. Maureen Feely (Political Science), Dr. Miller Puckette (Computer Music)
  • Community Leaders: Alec Calac (Medicine)
    • Honorable Mention: "KDan" Donghyung Lee (Biology)

2019 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Sumit Gupta (Structural Engineering)
  • Grad Student Leader: Rosalind Chaplin (Philosophy)
  • Grad Student Support Staff:  Kate Edwards (Visual Arts)
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Wendy Matsumura (History)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. Emily Johnston (Literature)
  • Community Leaders: Jiwandeep Kohli (Clinical Psychology)

2018 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Jack Zhang (Political Science)
  • Grad Student Leader: Chris Fisher (Chem & Biochem)
  • Grad Student Support Staff: Marybeth Ward (Theatre & Dance)
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Kevin Corbett (BMS)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. James Friend (MAE)
  • Community Leaders: Ariana Mirian (CSE)

2017 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Eva Sanchez (SIO)
  • Grad Student Leader: Daniella McDonald (Medicine)
  • Grad Student Support Staff: 
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Rosaura Sanchez (Literature)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. Natalia Roudakova (Communication)
  • Community Leaders: Katie Simpson (Communication)

2016 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Ben Sheredos (Philosophy)
  • Grad Student Leader: Cory Davia (Philosophy)
  • Grad Student Support Staff: Jessica Gross (CSE)
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Eric Watkins (Philosophy)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. Darren J Lipomi (NanoEngineering)
  • Community Leaders: Alberto Vasquez (Outreach Specialist) and Dustin Richmond (CSE)

2015 Winners

  • Peer Mentorship: Steven Naleway (Material Science Engineering)
  • Grad Student Leader: Amy Berg (Philosophy)
  • Grad Student Support Staff: Charlotte Lauve (Material Science and Engineering)
  • Faculty Mentorship: Dr. Thomas Baranga (Economics)
  • Faculty Teaching: Dr. Guluma (Medicine)
  • Community Leaders: Jason Raby (International Relations and Pacific Studies)