Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service

The Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service was established in 1983 and is presented annually to a graduate student who has demonstrated a genuine commitment to serving the University of Kansas while maintaining a high level of academic achievement.


October 30 - November 22, 2023 at 11:59PM CST


Each nominee must be a graduate student meeting the following criteria:

  • enrolled full-time in a master's or doctoral program at the time of nomination
  • continuing full-time enrollment in their graduate program for the spring semester
  • in good academic standing, as determined by the Graduate Studies Policy on Good Academic Standing

Award Details

Awardees receive a monetary prize of $500 and are highlighted in Graduate Studies social media.

Nomination/Application Process & Documents

Eligible students can be nominated by any KU graduate student, faculty, or graduate staff member. There are no restrictions on the number of nominees per department.

The following components are required for a nomination:

  • Nomination letter explaining how the nominated student has demonstrated a commitment to serve the campus community while maintaining a high level of academic achievement (two page limit)
  • Statement provided by the nominee of the activities, interests, and goals that directly demonstrate service to the University of Kansas (two page limit)
  • Student’s current resume or curriculum vitae

All documents should be uploaded as PDFs.

While the time required to process award decisions will depend upon the number of applications received, we aim to notify all nominators and graduate students via email by mid-January.

Selection Criteria

Nominees will be evaluated on these criteria:

  • Strength of the nomination letter
  • Level of service to the University of Kansas
  • Specific qualities that distinguish the nominee from other outstanding graduate students


  • 2022-2023 | Kalin Baca, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

  • 2022-2023 | Kirsten Taylor, Visual Art

  • 2022-2023 | Samantha Ghali, Child Language (Honorable Mention)

  • 2022-2023 | Ahmad Mustafa, Political Science (Honorable Mention)

  • 2021-2022 | Ryan Frier, Mathematics

  • 2020-2021 | Teresa Girolamo, Child Language Program

  • 2018-2019 | Pamela Johnson, Bioengineering Program

  • 2017-2018 | James Lafikes, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

  • 2016-2017 | Rafael Valadez, Spanish and Portuguese

  • 2015-2016 | Alex Erwin, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Distinguished Service Nomination Form

Nomination Period: October 30 - November 22, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST
Nominate Here