Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate Student Awards

The Graduate Student Awards encourage and recognize exemplary teaching by and service to graduate students and Carnegie Mellon. Recipients have displayed outstanding effectiveness in the classroom and have contributed to an improved quality of life for graduate students and the entire academic community. Awardees are recognized during the Celebration of Education Award Ceremony.

Graduate Student Teaching Award

Alexis Adams
Department of Modern Languages

Alexis Adams was a PhD candidate in Second Language Acquisition in the Department of Modern Languages. She has taught courses in the English and Modern Language Departments at the Pittsburgh campus, as well as the Summer College Preview Program at CMU-Q. As an instructor and researcher, Alexis values reflection and strives to create an inclusive learning environment for students. In particular, she focuses on creating learning opportunities during class discussions to support students’ language and content skills. She collaborated with the Eberly Center to design a discussion method for international students in a first-year writing and has used her research to facilitate workshops about discussion practices at university and national conferences. She was awarded the Dietrich College Graduate Student Teaching Award for her innovative project. Alexis also worked at the Eberly Center as a Senior Graduate Teaching Fellow, where she supported other graduate student instructors through teaching observations, workshops, and teaching statement consultations. In addition, she worked as an Assessment Fellow on a team that assessed the undergraduate Gen-Ed program in Dietrich College. Previously, Alexis completed her Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor’s in Linguistics and Hispanic Languages and Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. Alexis graduated in May 2020 and now works at CMU’s Eberly Center as a Teaching Consultant.

Graduate Student Service Award

Surya D. Aggarwal
Postdoctoral Fellow, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Surya D. Aggarwal is a postdoctoral fellow in Weiser Lab in the Department of Microbiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He completed his PhD from CMU's Department of Biological Sciences (MCS) in May 2020. He served as the President of CMU’s Graduate Student Assembly. Under his leadership, GSA partnered with university stakeholders to launch an on-campus legal consultation that is available to both graduate and undergraduate students. He was also involved with numerous other GSA initiatives including assessing mentorship climate for graduate students and providing childcare support for graduate students. Prior to that, Surya has held the position of Vice President for External Affairs for the Graduate Student Assembly. During his PhD, he also assumed leadership at the national level by serving as the Chair of Advocacy Board and the International Student Concerns Advocate for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. While in that role, Surya co-led the national campaign to advocate against the provision of the federal tax bill that proposed to tax graduate student tuition waivers. He has also served on numerous university and departmental committees. Surya has completed his Master’s from the University of Edinburgh, UK and Bachelor’s from Amity University, India.