UTMB’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences held its annual awards and scholarship luncheon, recognizing the achievements of the exceptional people who study science, conduct research and contribute to the success of research at UTMB with 92 awards and scholarships worth $153,265 going to 79 GSBS students and postdoctoral fellows.
Dr. Cary Cooper, dean of the GSBS and interim executive vice president and provost, welcomed nearly 200 students and family, UTMB benefactors, faculty and staff to the event at the San Luis Resort and Conference Center. While the feature of the program was the presentation of the awards by Drs. Dorian Coppenhaver, senior associate dean for student affairs, and Norbert Herzog, associate dean for recruiting, UTMB President Dr. David Callender addressed the audience.
“For 120 years UTMB has continually defined the future, in large measure because of our students and their commitment to improving the health of society in our state, nation and world,” Callender said. He also offered congratulations to the students and thanks to the benefactors who endowed the awards.
Each year the Graduate Student Organization, after considering feedback from the graduate students, selects one person to honor in each of three categories. Christina van Lier, GSO president, presented the GSO Student Award, sponsored by the University Federal Credit Union, to Christof Straub, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for his valuable contributions to graduate student interests; the GSO Program Coordinator Award to Donna Vickers, administrative coordinator, Institute for the Medical Humanities, for efforts beyond her duties to insure students’ best chance for advancement; and the GSO Faculty Award for Student Advocacy to Herzog, professor in the Department of Pathology and UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor, for his repeated concern for student rights and issues, and for acting on behalf of the student body.
The ceremony also allows students to recognize and thank faculty members who most inspired them throughout their program experience. Five faculty members who received graduate program teaching awards were: Dr. Jose Barral, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology; Ann Hudson Jones, Ph.D., Institute for the Medical Humanities; Rolf Konig, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Dr. Volker Neugebauer, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology; and Vsevolod L. Popov, Ph.D., Department of Experimental Pathology.