Graduate School Professional Awards for 2011


Graduate School honors alumnus, faculty, and staff for accomplishments

Each year the Graduate School presents awards to recognize four individuals for their contributions to excellence in graduate education.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

The Outstanding Alumnus/a Award recognizes an alumnus/a of the Graduate School for academic or professional achievements since graduating from the university.

Abhijat Joshi

Abhijat Joshi, an alumnus of the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin and Bollywood’s hottest screenwriter, has been named the Graduate School’s Outstanding Graduate Alumnus for 2011.

Joshi, who earned a master of fine arts degree in 2002, has written for Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters of all time, including “Mission Kashmir,” “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” and “Three Idiots.” Bollywood is the popular term used for the Hindi-language film industry in India. Joshi’s most recent work is the much anticipated English language debut film, Broken Horses (to be filmed in Mexico and parts of Texas). He has been awarded numerous honors for his screenwriting, including a National Film Award and three Zine Cine Awards (shared with producer Vinhu Vinod Chopra, the “Steven Spielberg of India,” and director Rajkumar Hirani) for “Lage RahoMunna Bhai.”

Joshi balances his screenwriting with his position as an associate professor in the Department of English at Otterbein College in Ohio where he teaches screenwriting and playwriting among other courses.

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award honors faculty members for outstanding teaching at the graduate level and for excellence in mentoring of graduate students. An award of $3,000 is presented to the recipient.  Lisa L. Moore, Associate Professor of English is being recognized with this year’s Teaching Award.

Lisa Moore

Lisa L. Moore, Ph.D., Associate Professor, English.

Hailed as a professor who constantly thinks about pedagogy, Moore is known for her "holistic approach to teaching, mentorship and professionalization of graduate students," and her "smart, kind and tough criticism" of their work, according to her former students.

"Lisa goes above and beyond the call of duty in every aspect of her graduate work," said Elizabeth Cullingford, chair of the Department of English. "Most crucially, her students go on to enhance the reputation of The University of Texas at Austin by building strong academic careers. Her graduate teaching performance is exceptional." Read the full press-release.

Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award

The Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award recognizes a graduate adviser for exemplary service to a graduate program, and the award includes a $3,000 prize.  Peter M. Ward of the Department of Sociology and LBJ School of Public Affairs is this year’s winner of the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award.

Peter M. Ward

Peter M. Ward, Ph. D., C.B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in United States-Mexico Relations. Professor, Department of Sociology and LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Ward received his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool in 1976 and subsequently held tenured professorships at University College London (1976-85), The University of Cambridge (1985-91), and at The University of Texas at Austin (1991-present) where he holds the C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in US-Mexico Relations, and is professor in the Department of Sociology (College of Liberal Arts), and in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Strongly committed to graduate education and training he has supervised more than thirty doctoral dissertations as well as many Masters’ theses and professional reports. He became graduate adviser of the PhD in Public Policy program in 2009. He has served two four-year terms as Director of the Mexican Center at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and between 2002-07 he was Executive Editor of the Latin American Research Review.

During his career, Ward has served as government adviser to various Mexican government ministries and international development agencies such as USAID, WHO, UNCHS, the Ford Foundation, etc. In 2000 he and his wife (Dr. Victoria Rodríguez) were jointly honored by the Mexican Government (Relaciones Exteriores) with the “Ohtli Medal” for their services to the advancement of understanding of Mexican culture and society.   He is author or co-author of 15 books and over 100 scholarly articles on low income housing, land markets, social policy, democratization and governance, Mexican politics, and megacities (most notably Mexico City).  In 2006 he led the initiative to create the nine-country Latin American Housing Research Network (LAHN which he coordinates at the University of Texas at Austin and which involves a number of graduate students working on theses and dissertations.

Professors Moore and Ward were honored at the the Graduate School/University Co- awards presentation on May 18 at The Four Seasons Hotel.

Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award

The Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award recognizes a graduate coordinator for distinguished service in support of the Graduate Adviser and other faculty in the administration of a graduate program. An award of $3,000 will be presented to Christine at a brunch next spring.

Christine Mazzucco, Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Psychology

Chris has served as Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Psychology for five years. "Chris is the most amazing graduate coordinator I have ever known," says James Pennebaker, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology. "In my mind, she is one of the smartest, most thoughtful and compassionate people at The University of Texas. Whenever I pass her door, she is usually talking with a graduate student or faculty member in a way that reveals a close connection. Sometimes the conversations are quiet and caring; other times her hearty laugh resonates down the hallway. It is impossible to leave her office without feeling good about yourself. She has a magical way of touching everyone she spends time with." 

The Graduate School's student award winners were announced at the awards banquet on May 18. Read more about the student award winners. The University Co-op provides the funding that makes all of these awards possible.


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