Carnegie Mellon University

phd awards

May 01, 2019

Tepper Tea Ceremony Recognizes Ph.D. Achievements

Each week, Ph.D. students and faculty meet for “Afternoon Tea,” a traditional gathering of students and faculty to connect and take a break from long days of research.

To commemorate the end of the academic year, Ph.D. students and faculty celebrate with a special Tepper Tea Ceremony to recognize the student’s hard work and dedication to their research. This year, seven students received awards in six categories ranging in research topics. 

“There are two things I wouldn’t leave off my CV, this award and my Pittsburgher of the Year Award,” Finn E. Kydland, The Richard P. Simmons Distinguished Professorship and University Professor of Economics said.

Egon Balas Award

The Egon Balas Award for the Best Student Paper in Operations Research and Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization was awarded to Violet Xinying Chen, a second year Operations Research student.

“Winning this award is an encouraging and exciting surprise,” Chen said. “Knowing that all the first and second year student papers are of high quality, I am very grateful for this recognition. Moving forward, I am sure the award will be a crucial source of motivation.” 

Chen’s award-winning paper focuses on fairness and efficiency in a mathematical model. Prior to studying this topic, Chen said she knew fairness as a subjective concept, but after her research, understands the topic differently.

“Working on the paper has changed my perspectives and inspired me to keep working on problems with socioeconomic considerations,” Chen said. “Winning this award with the paper further boosts my enthusiasm and confidence about these research interests.”

Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Fellowship Award

Pranav Gupta, who is currently studying Organizational Behavior and Theory, was awarded the Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Fellowship Award. The award is given to a student for their outstanding research contributions in organizational behavior and theory. 

“As a young scholar, getting the feedback that your research not only has the potential of bringing new insight into our understanding of how teams work, but also adds tremendous value to our field is very motivating,” Gupta said. “It is a strong signal that the research is headed in the right direction. What more can one want!”

Dipankar And Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award

The Dipankar And Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award was presented to marketing student Yijin Kim.

“It is a great honor for me to be recognized for doing important and interesting research,” Kim said. “The award encourages and motivates me to do an even better job.”

Alexander Henderson Award

In the field of economic theory, Eungsik Kim received the Alexander Henderson Award.

“Winning this award is a tremendous glory in my life since there is a long history of nominating giant economists, including Nobel Laureates, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon as award winners,” Kim said. “Moreover, this award is an unsubstitutable reward for my six-year-long Ph.D. journey.”

Paul S. Goodman Doctoral Dissertation Award

The Paul S. Goodman Doctoral Dissertation Award In Recognition Of Outstanding Contributions To Research In Organizational Behavior And Theory was awarded to Elizabeth L. Campbell. 

Campbell’s dissertation included data on the selection process of clerks for the U.S. Supreme Court. With the help of Professors Rosalind Chow and Brandy Aven, Campbell tested for gender diversity.

“It is my hope that with this study, in conjunction with some additional studies included in my dissertation, we can learn more about where gender inequities still reside in organizations and what evidence-based interventions can be developed to try to mitigate the effects these inequities have on men's and women's career progression,” Campbell said.

PNC Presidential Fellowship Award

This year, the PNC Presidential Fellowship Award was presented to two students, Vitaly Meursault and Siyu (Eric) Lu.

Meursault uses machine learning in his studies of corporate financial reporting. This award, he said, would allow him to focus on his research as he prepares to enter the job market.

“I am very grateful to PNC for recognizing and supporting my research through the fellowship,” Meursault said. “It is reassuring to see my research recognized and makes me more confident in exploring this area further.” 

Lu’s research focused on banking and failed-bank resolutions. As a fifth year Ph.D. student, he said the award gives him a new layer of confidence for his dissertation.

“The award confirms that the questions I study and the approach I take to study these questions are valuable for both academic researchers and industry practitioners,” Lu said. “I will continue my path finishing the research I am working on, so I can present all the results and finding.”