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Graduate School Awards & Prizes

The Graduate School bestows a small number of prizes and awards on our students, faculty and alumni each year on the basis of teaching, service, leadership or notable achievements. Each May, at the Graduate School Commencement Convocation ceremony, many departmental or interdisciplinary student prizes also are awarded.

Prize Teaching Fellows (students)

The Prize Teaching Fellowships recognize outstanding performance and promise as a teacher. They are considered among the most important honors that Yale bestows upon graduate students.

Graduate School Public Service Awards (students)

The Graduate School Public Scholar Award recognizes research and activism conducted by a Yale graduate student that engages and betters the world at large. The public scholar is involved in activism, public policy-making and/or in public discourse based upon his/her research. The student’s academic work is motivated by a broad concern for public welfare and the research directly and concretely serves society.  The student also engages in outreach to inform the public about his/her research or to encourage policy-makers to consider the findings. Turning research into public advocacy, activism and social change is the basis for this award.

The Graduate School Disciplinary Outreach Service Award recognizes a graduate school student who uses specific knowledge of his/her own discipline as the basis for voluntary service in the local community.  Making knowledge and skills from one’s discipline relevant and useful to those in need in the community is the hallmark of this award.

The Graduate School Community Service Award honors a graduate student’s volunteer work in the local community while enrolled at Yale. The student is a dedicated and effective agent for positive change who volunteers with local community organizations, encourages other students to do the same, and may even have started a non-profit or charity. The community service need not be directly related to the student’s academic work. Committed sustained service to those in need is the benchmark for this award.

Graduate Mentor Awards (Faculty)

The Graduate School honors faculty members at Convocation for their exemplary qualities as mentors. Many dissertation advisors are nominated, the honorees are chosen by a committee of students and faculty, in coordination with the Graduate Teaching Center.

2016 Award Recipients

  •     Humanities: Roberta Frank
  •     Natural Sciences: Chinedum Osuji
  •     Social Sciences: Jack Dovidio

2015 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Verity Harte
  • Natural Sciences: Hal Blumenfeld
  • Social Sciences: Naomi Lamoreaux

2014 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Mary Lui
  • Natural Sciences: Eric Dufresne
  • Social Sciences: Greg Huber

2013 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Kathryn Lofton
  • Natural Sciences: Evan Morris
  • Social Sciences: Elisabeth Wood

2012 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Katie Trumpener
  • Natural Sciences: Hemant Tagare
  • Social Sciences: William Wright Kelly

2011 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Langdon Hammer
  • Natural Sciences: Jordan Peccia
  • Social Sciences: Julia Adams

2010 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: John Harley Warner
  • Natural Sciences: Suzanne Alonzo
  • Social Sciences: Kelly Brownell

2009 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Elliot Visconsi
  • Natural Sciences: Patrick Vaccaro
  • Social Sciences: Scott Boorman

2008 Award Recipients

  • Humanities: Seth Fein
  • Natural Sciences: Mitchell Smooke
  • Social Sciences: Ellen Lust-Okar

Wilbur Cross Medal for Alumni Achievement

The Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal is an honor presented each year by the Graduate School Alumni Association to a small number of outstanding alumni. The medal recognizes distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service–all areas in which the legendary Dean Cross excelled. Each fall the Wilbur Cross Medal winners are invited to campus to receive their awards and give an address and to meet informally with graduate students and faculty in their field. The Wilbur Cross medals are listed on a bronze plaque in the McDougal Center in the Hall of Graduate Studies (320 York Street).

Wilbur Lucius Cross (Ph.D. 1889) himself was a scholar of distinction in English literature. He taught at the Sheffield Scientific School, the precursor to Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He served as Dean during the Graduate School's reorganization into its present form, and championed the construction of HGS. He rejuvenated the Yale Review as its editor. Always active in politics, after retiring from Yale at age 70, he was elected and served Governor of Connecticut for 8 years (January 1931-January 1939).

Yale Alumni Association List of Medallists 1966-present