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Pioneering Spirit Awards

Graduate Students Council honored by ceremony

Heather Hines, Reporter

Professor of Dance Mary Williford-Shade presents Jessica Murphy with the Outstanding Master’s Student award.
Professor of Dance Mary Williford-Shade presents Jessica Murphy with the Outstanding Master’s Student award.

TWU’s Graduate Students Council distributed awards at the Pioneering Spirit Awards ceremony to recognize graduate students for their academic work, the people who have supported them and the council.

The Pioneering Spirit Awards began in 2015 and became widely popular with students. The council obtained a grant from TWU to expand the awards and in doing so added two more, the Graduate Council Award for Exceptional and Original Scholarship and the Allsup-Lane Scholarship.

Graduate student and Pioneering Spirit Awards Chair Jessica Murphy explained: “The whole reason this council started and these awards became a thing was that we really wanted to recognize graduate students for their outstanding achievement. There are awards sprinkled around different ceremonies, but we really wanted one event that celebrated graduate students.”

Murphy stated: “When we send out emails to people who have been nominated, it is fun to see how excited they are just to be recognized for all the work that we’re doing. As graduate students, we often get stuck in our departments, and we don’t really know what’s going on and so to see that someone sees you and recognizes what you’re doing is nice.”

TWU’s dedication to seeing its students succeed can be seen in how it honors and awards students who set examples, and makes sure to exclude no group of students.

Murphy shared: “This is my second graduate degree, and I know at my last college, graduates were really kind of on their own, there was nothing social for them to get involved in, and there were no award ceremonies specifically for graduate students. The fact that TWU recognizes the importance of it, is a big deal.”

TWU’s Graduate Student Council presented awards to students, faculty and staff at the second Pioneering Spirit Award Ceremony.
TWU’s Graduate Student Council presented awards to students, faculty and staff at the second Pioneering Spirit Award Ceremony.

Pioneering Spirit Award Recipients

Graduate Council Award for Exceptional, Original Scholarship

Amy Johnson & Tara Signs

Allsup-Lane Scholarship

William Ash-Houchen & Edward Royston

Outstanding Staff Member Supporting Graduate Students

Elaine Cox

Outstanding Faculty Member Supporting Graduate Students

Dr. Debra Mollen

Outstanding Department Supporting Graduate Students

English, Speech, and Foreign Language

Outstanding Graduate Assistant

William Ash-Houchen

Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant

Nicole Masek

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant

Maggie Bohm

Outstanding Master’s Student

Jessica Murphy

Outstanding Doctoral Student

Jamie Jones

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