Thirty-three students named in the inaugural awarding of the Provost Pathbreaking Discovery Award

Thirty-three students were named in the inaugural awarding of the Provost Pathbreaking Discovery Award. This award, funded by the Enhanced Funding and Support Model for Doctoral Education, recognizes doctoral students who exhibit exceptional academic excellence in areas such as publications, awards, patents and other forms of national/international distinction.

Awardees have distinguished themselves as peer reviewers for prestigious journals, published authors and presenters at national and international venues. Among other professional and academic accolades, they have contributed significantly to field advancements through innovative research, volunteered within the community, mentored fellow students and demonstrated exceptional scholarship throughout their tenure as graduate students at Vanderbilt University.

Winners include:

  • George Abitante, psychological sciences
  • Bunmi Adegbola, religion
  • Vera Borkowski, nursing science
  • Mariah Caballero, community research and action
  • Darian Carroll, molecular physiology and biophysics
  • Marianne Casilio, hearing and speech sciences
  • Abigail Ciriegio, psychological sciences
  • Colton Cronin, law
  • Kelly Cunningham, philosophy
  • Ryan Fansler, microbe-host interactions
  • Zahra Farahbakhsh, neuroscience
  • Azuah Gonzalez, molecular pathology and immunology
  • Monika Grabowksa, biomedical informatics
  • Krista Haapanen, community research and action
  • Sarah Hagaman, English
  • Chancey Herbolsheimer, sociology
  • Alex Hughes, chemistry
  • Mirazul Islam, cell and developmental biology
  • Liam Kelly, earth and environmental sciences
  • Tara Mack, human genetics
  • Lindsay Martin, biological sciences
  • Kara McNamara, cancer biology
  • Mellissa Meisels, political science
  • Ludwig Noya, religion
  • Koichi Oyakawa, mathematics
  • Alexandra Reichert, anthropology
  • Amy Stark, pharmacology
  • David Storm, physics
  • Shengxin Tu, biostatistics
  • Paige Vega, cell and developmental biology
  • Cong Wang, epidemiology
  • Bethany Young, nursing science
  • Xiaoyu (Lily) Yu, biochemistry

“In recognizing the exceptional achievements of our students through the Provost Pathbreaking Discovery Award, we celebrate not just their individual scholarship, but the collective impact they make on their respective fields,” said C. André Christie-Mizell, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. “These students embody academic excellence, setting new standards with their groundbreaking research, impactful publications and notable contributions to society.”

The achievements of these students not only reflect their dedication to their fields but also inspire future generations of scholars. Congratulations to these exceptional individuals for their outstanding contributions and well-deserved recognition.