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Students, Postdocs, and Faculty Recognized at the 2023 Graduate Research Day and Awards

Chancellor Peter Buckley viewed a research presentation at the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences Graduate Research Day, an opportunity for students and postdocs to present their distinguished research. The event also held the 2023 College of Graduate Health Sciences awards ceremony, honoring the achievements of students, faculty, and postdocs.

Christopher Pitzer, president of the Graduate Student Executive Council, reflected on the moment he received the Outstanding Graduate Student award in Molecular and Translational Physiology at the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences Graduate Research Day earlier this month.

“It is awesome, and I just felt like proud of what I’ve done in the past few years,” said Pitzer. “We are lucky as a UTHSC community to be large enough that we have everything we need, but small enough that we are all close, and even knowing that I applied for the award, I still had several grad students congratulate me.”

Chris Pitzer (middle) with Dr. Isaac Donkor (left), and Dean Donald Thomason (right) as he received the Outstanding Student Award in Molecular and Translational Physiology.

Pitzer was among many students, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars that were recognized during this year’s UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences Graduate Research Day and awards ceremony. This annual event showcases and honors the distinguished achievements and research in the college within the past year.

In the first segment of the event, innovative research projects from students and postdocs are presented in a poster and platform competition. During the poster competition, presenters showcase and discuss their research in an open format. In the platform competition, presenters are assigned 10 minutes to present their research to attendees.

The event also presented the 2023 Graduate Health Sciences awards, honoring a faculty member for mentorship and recognizing outstanding students in the college’s degree programs.

This year’s Graduate Research Day award recipients in the poster competition are:

  • First place – McKenna Harpring
  • Second place – Rachel Perkins
  • Third place – Menglin Jiang

The research day award recipients in the platform competition are:

  • First place – Jessica Halle
  • Second place – Bahar Meshkat and Elizabeth Schneider
  • Third place – Jinjun Wu

The 2023 Graduate Health Sciences Awards recipients are:

  • Student Success Award –Jiaxing Wang
  • Mentorship Award – James D. Lewis, Au.D
  • Dean’s Award and Outstanding Student in Genetics, Genomics, and Informatics – Flavia Villani
  • Outstanding Student in Pharmacology, Addiction Science, and Toxicology – Elizabeth Schneider
  • Outstanding Student in Mirobiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry – Vinoth Sigamani
  • Outstanding Student in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Lina Zhou
  • Outstanding Student in Nursing Science – Jenifer Prather
  • Outstanding Student in Health Outcomes and Policy Research – Deborah Ogunsanmi
  • Outstanding Student in Rehabilitation Science – Jessica Halle
  • Outstanding Student in Molecular and Translational Physiology – Chris Pitzer
  • Outstanding Student in Cancer Developmental Biology – Rachel Perkins
  • Outstanding Student in Speech and Hearing Science – Tanzida Zaman
  • Outstanding Student in Neuroscience – Martin Raymond

“We are all busy with amazing work that deserves to be shown at every chance, and it feel’s amazing to have a campus-wide event and showcase all of the great research we have,” Pitzer said.