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Graduate School Spring Reception Highlights Accomplishments



Naeem Patil, Ph.D. graduate, presents awards to his mentors Lee Ann MacMillian-Crow, Ph.D. and Philip Mayeux, Ph.D.


Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., R.N. (left) and Nancy Rusch, Ph.D., (right) were named Graduate School Faculty Members of the Year and presented with plaques by Robert McGehee, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School (center).

April 16, 2014 | With its largest number of doctoral graduates this spring, the UAMS Graduate School had many students and faculty members to recognize in its annual spring reception April 3.

“We have by far a new record of Ph.D. graduates this year,” said Robert McGehee, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS Graduate School. “We’ve had a great year and that’s due to the great people we have. We’re here to celebrate the successes of our remarkable students and faculty.”

The Graduate School is on track to have more than 40 graduates this spring.

The awards reception highlighted student achievements from travel awards to research presentations at national and international conferences to internship programs. Mentor Awards also were presented to more than 20 graduate members for serving as major advisors to this spring’s doctoral graduates.

The Spring Reception also marks the unveiling of the poster highlighting student publications throughout the year. During the 2013-2014 academic year, more than 100 manuscripts were published in scientific journals that included graduate students as authors.

Jessica Hartman was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award. She is in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences program and received a Predoctoral Training Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). McGehee said that she was the first in at least 15 years from the graduate school to receive and NSF fellowship. Her Ph.D. advisor is Grover Paul Miller, Ph.D. Amy Hester was recognized with an Achievement Award for having received the 2014 Novice Writer’s Award from the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.

The Graduate School named Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., R.N. and Nancy Rusch, Ph.D. as Graduate Faculty Members of the Year. McSweeney is a professor in the UAMS College of Nursing and serves as the Nursing Ph.D. Graduate Program director. Rusch is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

“In just the last five years, combined, these ladies have served as major advisors to eight Ph.D. graduates, more than a dozen additional Ph.D. advisory committees, co-authored more than 30 publications with graduate students, and mentored five students to successful multi-year extramural predoctoral training grants,” McGehee said. “Both of them are very committed to graduate students and are highly engaged in graduate education at every level, and in a small way, this award recognizes their commitment and accomplishments.”

Student Awards

Outstanding Achievement Awards
• Jessica Hartman

Achievement Award
• Amy Hester

Certificates of Achievement
• Christina Petty
• Deepanwita Sengupta
• Lascelles Lyn-Cook
• Lee Ann King
• Lirit Franks
• Naeem Patil
• David Schoen
• Sarah Eddy
• Danielle Fortune
• Centdrika Dates
• Wanda Christie
• Brenda Gannon
• Shirelle Figueroa
• Nicole Pederson
• Jennifer Leonhard
• Lauren Tuttle
• Karl Walker
• Shraddha Thakkar
• Mihir Jaiswal

Graduate School Travel Awards
• Emily Holthoff
• Joey Graham
• Christina Petty
• Rose Willett
• Caylin Winchell

Graduate School Faculty Awards

Graduate School Faculty Members of the Year
• Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., RN
• Nancy Rusch, Ph.D.

Mentor Awards
• Robert Griffin, Ph.D.
• Shmuel Yacoby, Ph.D.
• Julia Goodwin, Ph.D.
• Donna Middaugh, Ph.D
• Angus NacNicol, Ph.D
• Claudia Barone, Ph.D.
• Rosalia C.M. Simmen, Ph.D.
• Betholyn Gentry, Ph.D.
• Vladimir P. Zharov, Ph.D.
• Masahiro Higuchi, Ph.D.
• Lee Ann MacMillan-Crow, Ph.D.
• Giulia Baldini, M.D., Ph.D.
• Mark Smeltzer, Ph.D.
• Eric C. Peterson, Ph.D.
• William Fantegrossi, Ph.D.
• Gwen Childs, Ph.D.
• Philip Mayeux, Ph.D
• J. Mick Tilford, Ph.D.
• Gregory Robinson, Ph.D.
• Steven R. Post, Ph.D
• Eli Al-Chaer, Ph.D.

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