Graduate Student Awards and Opportunities

Additional websites for students

Sebastian Award

         Purpose:To recognize outstanding Plant Biology graduate Teaching Assistants

         Deadline:       Early April

         Nominations: Plant Biology Awards Committee           

         Criteria:         Open to students who have taught multiple semesters and preferably multiple courses and have excellent teaching  evaluations 

         Awards:         Up to $500, usually one nominee           

         Selection:       Plant Biology Award Committee with input from faculty

Recent Awardees

  • 2010 - Rachel Clark
  • 2008 - Steven Bernacki
  • 2007 - Catlin Elam
  • 2005- Kristen Rosenfeld
  • 2004 – Larissa Knebel
  • 2003 - Chad Jordan
  • 2002 - Jeffrey Coker
  • 2000 - Isaac Bruck
  • 1999 - Susan Langley/Karen Stamen
  • 1998 - Catherine Clark
  • 1997 - Hemyat Ullah

 CALS Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

         Purpose:       To award teaching excellence by MS or PhD student in any                               CALS Dept.  

         Deadline:       Late February               

         Nominations: Chair, Plant Biology Awards Committee            

         Criteria:  Teaching effectiveness, academic scholarship, dedication, professional development           

         Application:   Letters from faculty, teaching portfolio           

         Awards:        Up to 3 awards for $1000 each           

         Selection:      CALS Graduate Studies Committee                       
Former Plant Biology recipients
  • 2005 - Kristen Rosenfeld
  • 2003 - Chad Jordan
  • 2002 -  Jeffrey Coker


Kenneth R. Keller Thesis Research Award
         Web site:  

                    Purpose:         To reward outstanding PhD research by student
                                          from any CALS Dept.

                    Deadline:          End of January

                    Nominations:    Chair, Plant Biology Awards Committee

                     Criteria:            Outstanding thesis research
                     Awards:           Up to 2 awards for $1000 each

          Selection by:    Keller Award Committee of outstanding CALS faculty                                  researcher

 Plant Biology recent recipients:

  • 2004 - Matt Parrow
  • 2002 - Jill Stevenson
  • 2000 - Steve Nagar



CALS Professional Development Workshop.                

          Web site:

          Purpose:      Three-day off-site workshop to enhance the professional                              development of Ph.D. students

                     Deadline:      End of May

                     Nominations:  Ad hoc committee composed of Dept. Head,
                                           Director of Graduate Programs, and Chair of
                                          the Plant Biology Awards Committee

                     Criteria:         Nominees must be PhD students who have been
                                          on campus for at least 1 year, and preferably 2 years,
                                          with at least one year remaining before completion
                                          of their degrees.

       Plant Biology recipients:

  • 2006 – Megan Rothenberger, Sang Yoon Lee
  • 2005 –  Robert Holmes, Elizabeth Rueschhoff 
  • 2004 – Alexander Krings, Amanda Davis
  • 2003 –  Jeffrey Coker, Kristen Rosenfeld
  • 2002 -  Chad Jordan, Chuanzhu Fan
  • 2001 – Larissa Knebel, Matt Parrow
  • 2000 – Isaac Bruck, Ravisha Weerasinghe
  • 1999 – Kirsten Nielsen, Alexa McKerrow
  • 1998 – Joe Chiera, Susan Langley








starUGSA Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

                    Web site:

                    Purpose:           To recognize outstanding graduate TAs
                                            (lab and/or classroom)

                    Deadlines:         Late February

                    Criteria:            Must have taught at least 2 semesters and be
                                            graduate student in   good standing  

                    Awards:           Recognition plaque for all nominees,
                                           $200 for winners award

                    Selection:         UGSA TA Awards Committe

                    Plant Biology nominees and recipients

                   2006- Emily Habinck, Wenheng Zhang

                   2005 – Chad Jordan, Kristen Rosenfeld, Kris Callis

                   2004 – Jeffrey Coker, Chad Jordan

                   2003 – Kristen Rosenfeld, Chuanzhu Fan

                   2002 – Chad Jordan, Larissa Knebel

                   2001 -  Issac Bruck, Jeffrey Coker





starNancy Pollock Award for Outstanding
         MS and PhD theses

                   Web site:

                   Purpose:           Recognition for outstanding graduate student
                                           research benefiting NC

                   Deadlines:         Varies. Often in May

                   Nominations:    Through Plant Biology Awards Committee to College   

                   Criteria:            Research must have had impact on Both NC economy
                                          and quality of  life. Nominees must have received the
                                          degrees in the Summer or Fall of previous year, or
                                          Spring of current year.

                   Awards:           $1000 for outstanding PhD thesis, $500 for outstanding MS                                            dissertation

                   Selection:        Graduate school selects from College nominees

 Plant Biology Winners: 

  • 2008 - Dr. Megan Rothenberger (PhD)
  • 2007- Alexander Krings (PhD), Wade Wall (MS)
  • 2005 - Jeffrey Coker (PhD), Kristen Rosenfeld (MS)








  • star
  • Preparing the Professoriate           

             Web site:

             Purpose:           Professional development for students interested in an                                  academic career

             Deadline:          Near the end of March
             Nominations:    Department Head with input from DGP, BAC and other faculty.
             Awards:           Ten doctoral students will be selected to participate through a
                                    university-wide competition.  These students receive a $2,000                                 stipend for the year.

             Selection by:    Graduate School
    Plant Biology participants
  •  2007-Jennifer Petzold
  • 2006 – Elizabeth Rueschhoff
  • 2005 – Kristen Rosenfeld









starNorth American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture             Graduate Teaching Award            

             Web site:           

  •              Purpose:           To recognize graduate students who excel as teachers in                                      the agricultural disciplines in classroom instruction.  

                 Deadline:           Early March  
                 Nominations:      By individual NACTA fellows or via Plant Biology Awards                                       Committee 
                 Criteria:              Teaching philosophy, support from faculty member,                                        evaluations by students, faculty, administrators, and                                        peers, be a graduate student in good standing, minimum of                                        1 year teaching experience and member of NACTA   
                 Award:                Invitation to national meeting, recognition plaque             
    Plant Biology recipients
  • 2003 – Jeffrey Coker
  • 1997 – Mary Lehman








starConference of Southern Graduate Schools – Electronic             Dissertation and Thesis
             Web site:

             Purpose:           To recognize outstanding thesis and dissertation utilizing                                       IT        
             Deadline:           End of September (for previous academic year)
             Nominations:      Plant Biology Awards Committee who submit nominee                                        to Graduate  School    
             Awards:              $500 plus plaque

             Selection by:       Graduate school sends NCSU nominee to CSGS who                                        adjudicate

             Plant Biology recipients:

             2005 - Kristen Rosenfeld









starNC Clean and Beautiful Fellowships

             Purpose:       Enhance NC environment

             Deadline: Late January for abstracts.
                            Mid-February for completed  applications
             Nominations: Director of Graduate Programs with input from faculty

             Criteria:Graduate student with high academic standing; demonstrate leadership capability, intellectual aptitude, independent  thinking, civic-mindedness. strong communications skills, personal  integrity, motivation, and high moral character; be involved in research related to solving problems challenging North Carolina’s environmental health; be a full-time student; have at least one full year of study/research remaining at NCSU; be willing to participate in screening and interview process; have not previously been interviewed by the  Selection Committee; be a US citizen preferably and could remain in North Carolina to teach or work; be willing to be an environmental ambassador for North Carolina.

             Award:             $5000 from NCCBF with $5000 Departmental matching.

 Plant Biology recipients

  • 2005 – Caitlin Elam
  • 2001 – Larissa Knebel

starMiscellaneous Graduate Student Awards

Recent Award winners

May 2007 -Rafaelo Galvao given the Biochemical Journal Young Investigator award at the Missouri Biochemical Meeting.

April 2007 - Rafaelo Galvao and Caitlin Elam were named Outstanding Teaching Assistants of 2006

March 2007 - Rafaelo Galvao - second place in the Life Sciences category at the Graduate Student Research Symposium

April 2006 - Amanda Davis - winner at the 1st Annual University Wide
Graduate Student Symposium