Battle Hall on the University of Texas at Austin campus

International Students Sweep 2022 Graduate School Awards

  • May 13, 2022

The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School has announced the 2022 results for its annual student awards, revealing that this year’s winners are all international students. Representing a diversity not only of academic disciplines but also of home countries and backgrounds, the award winners demonstrate excellence in writing, research and overall scholarship.  

Candidates for the awards are nominated by individuals across campus, and winners are determined by selection committees composed of faculty and staff members as well as students.  

“The winners are a testament to the quality of teaching, research and support in graduate education that transpires on the Forty Acres,” said Mark J. T. Smith, senior vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “Each winner has done something extraordinary—the winners have conducted groundbreaking research and inspired others to discover their potential and enabled them to succeed.” 

Outstanding Dissertation Awards 

The Outstanding Dissertation Awards recognize exceptional work and encourage the highest levels of scholarship, research and writing. Each year, three of these awards are given, from which one is selected to receive the committee’s highest honor, the Michael H. Granof Award. Dissertation award winners receive $5,000 each, and the university’s top dissertation honor is accompanied by a $6,000 prize.  

This year’s Outstanding Dissertation Awards winners are: 

Benjamin Kofi Nutor  

Michael H. Granof Award winner for top dissertation 
The Landscapes of Transatlantic Contacts and Slavery at Peki in Eastern Ghana, c.1600-1900 
Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts 
Nominated by Liza Shapiro 

Abikal Borah 

Aftertaste of Empire: Amandiya and Racial Violence in South Africa (1843-1949) 
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts  
Nominated by Seth Garfield, Ph.D. 

Yuan-I (Nina) Chen 

Development of the single-molecule tracking and fluorescence lifetime techniques for biophysical measurements and biomedical applications 
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering 
Nominated by Hsin-Chih Yeh, Ph.D. 

Outstanding Master's Thesis/Report Award 

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Report Award recognizes exceptional work by master’s students to encourage the highest levels of scholarship, research and writing. The winner receives $2,000. 

This year’s Master’s Thesis/Report Award winner is: 

Jian Gao 

"My Heart is Longing So Much": Transnational Family Letters in the Making of Chinese Mexicans, 1907-1950s 
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts 
Nominated by Seth Garfield, Ph.D. 

In addition to the student awards, each year the Graduate School also recognizes an outstanding student employee, graduate teaching faculty member, graduate adviser, graduate coordinator, and alumnus.  

The awards are generously underwritten by the University Co-op and are presented at the annual Graduate School/University Co-op Awards Banquet each spring.  

Learn more in the article on the Graduate School website.