Departmental Graduate Student Awards-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Departmental Graduate Student Awards

On June 12, Department of Biological Sciences recognized two graduate students for their outstanding service to the department during the past academic year. Jeanne Morin-Leisk, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate working in Dr. Tina Lee’s laboratory, was awarded the Graduate Student Teaching Award, while Ken Hovis, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate working in Dr. Nathan Urban’s laboratory, received the Graduate Student Service and Outreach Award.

As a teaching assistant (TA) for Dr. Mark Macbeth’s Biochemistry I course, Morin-Leisk made herself available outside of office hours, volunteered to host extra help sessions prior to exams and guest lectured on protein purification. “She was an outstanding teaching assistant and a valued colleague. She is one of the most dedicated student-teachers I have known,” stated Macbeth.

Sang Ah Roh, an undergraduate student in support of Morin-Leisk's nomination, praised her as "one of the TAs that is enthusiastic and inherently interested in seeing students learn and improve.”

Hovis’s service and outreach also included teaching. He tutored students both within and outside of Carnegie Mellon, and organized seminars and workshops as vice president of The Sciences Teaching Club.

In addition to his teaching activities, Hovis mentored incoming graduate students, served as a tour guide for visiting students, participated in student panels and emceed the departmental holiday party. Hovis also joined the recruiting committee to brainstorm new methods of recruiting graduate students. Melissa Witzberger, president of The Sciences Teaching Club, stated in her nomination letter that Hovis “has certainly never turned down an opportunity to help the department, undergraduate students, or fellow graduate students…He is truly deserving of this award.”

Congratulations to Jeanne and Ken!