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University Relations

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May 2, 2006
Contact: Alison Watkins, Graduate School and International Programs, (785) 864-4963.

KU Graduate School recognizes outstanding teaching assistants, faculty

LAWRENCE — Diana Carlin, dean of the Graduate School and International Programs at the University of Kansas, honored eight students with awards totaling more than $5,000 for their dedication and skill as teaching assistants in an April 28 ceremony at the Burge Union. A faculty member and administrator were also honored.

Julie Sorge in English and Henry Way in geography won $1,500 Carlin Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.

Milton Wendland in American studies won the $1,000 Distinguished Service Award.

Santiago Bonetti in civil engineering, Stephanie Decker in sociology, Yuwen Lai in linguistics, Anne Rabe in classics and Jin Zhu in linguistics won $500 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.

Thomas E. Mulinazzi, professor and chair of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, and Michael Mosser, assistant dean of the Graduate School and International Programs, each received a Graduate School Dean’s Award, a certificate recognizing their contributions to graduate education. The Graduate School has presented this award since 1996.

The teaching assistant award winners will be recognized during commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 21.

Teaching assistants were nominated from departments and programs throughout the university. A selection committee chose winners based on their commitment to teaching, departmental and student comments and level of responsibility.

In making the presentations, Carlin noted the awards “recognize the accomplishments of graduate students and celebrate the many achievements within graduate education at KU. Having graduate students and faculty who excel at the level of the honorees is what makes KU graduate programs nationally recognized.”

KU has 42 nationally ranked graduate programs, 24 in the top 25 in the nation and 11 in the top 10 among public universities.

Carlin sponsors the Carlin Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, which was first presented in 1993. The KU Graduate School sponsors the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, which was started in 1990, and the Distinguished Service Award, which has been awarded for more than 25 years.

The award-winning teaching assistants are listed below by hometown, degree program, award, previous degree and parents’ names and high schools, when available.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Anne Meredith Rabe, master’s degree candidate in classics, received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Rabe received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from KU in spring 2002. She is the daughter of John and Barb Stephens and is a Lawrence High School graduate.

HARVEY COUNTY
From Sedgwick
Stephanie K. Decker, doctoral candidate in sociology, received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Decker received a master’s degree in fall 2002 and a bachelor’s degree in journalism in summer 1996, both from KU. She is the daughter of Jack and Sara Decker and is a Valley Center High School graduate.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe (66062) and Altoona, Pa.
Julie M. Sorge, master’s degree candidate in English, received a Carlin Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Sorge has a bachelor’s degree from Mid-America Nazarene College. She is the daughter of Maxine Sorge of Altoona, Pa.

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY
From Onaga and Mountain City, Tenn.
Milton Wesley Wendland, master’s degree candidate in American studies, received the Distinguished Service Award. Wendland received a law degree in fall 1999 and a bachelor’s in sociology in summer 1996, both from KU. He is the son of Charles W. Wendland of Mountain City, Tenn., and of Judy and Gilbert Wegner of Onaga. He is an Onaga High School graduate.

PENNSYLVANIA
From Altoona and Olathe, Kan.
Julie M. Sorge. SEE JOHNSON COUNTY

TENNESSEE
From Mountain City and Onaga, Kan.
Milton Wesley Wendland. SEE POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY

CHINA
From Beijing
Jin Zhu, master's degree candidate in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction, received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. She received a master's degree in higher education from KU in spring 2005. Zhu has been accepted into the KU School of Law for summer 2006. She is a graduate of the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.

ENGLAND
From Wickwar
Henry Alexander Way, doctoral candidate in geography, received a Carlin Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Way has a master's degee from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor's degree from the University of Oxford. He is the son of Jerome Way.

TAIWAN
From Tainan
Yu-Wen Lai, doctoral candidate in linguistics, received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. She received a master's in linguistics from KU in summer 2005 and is a graduate of the National Taiwan Normal University at Taipei. She is married to Ming-luen Jeng.

VENEZUELA
From Valencia
Santiago Antonio Bonetti, doctoral candidate in civil engineering, received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Bonetti received a master's degree in civil engineering from KU in fall 2002. He is the son of Eduardo Bonetti.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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