The Curtis Award highlights the “amazing” efforts of PhD assistants during the epidemic

October 14, 2021

Clockwise, Kendall DeBoer, PhD candidate in visual and cultural studies; Michael Ormsbe, PhD candidate in English; Ashley Clark, PhD candidate in Psychology and Cognitive Science; And Alice Wind, PhD candidate in history. The four doctoral students are this year’s recipients of this year’s Edward Peck Curtis Award.


The annual award honors graduate students in classrooms and laboratories at the university.

This year’s Edward Pek Curtis Award at the University of Rochester, the Fourth University, comes from a variety of disciplines. But they have many things in common.

Ashley Clark, Kendall Deborah, Michael Ormsbe, and Alice Wind are described by students and teachers alike as “the most prominent among peers” or “the best teaching assistant I’ve ever worked with.” And all thanks to COVID-19 for their class playing a vital role in advancing online learning.

Melissa Stur-Apple, vice president and dean of the university, said:

The Tevost Scholarship Award honors full-time undergraduates with a bachelor’s degree in Rochester.

Take a closer look at each recipient according to the applicants’ comments.

Ashley Clark, PhD candidate in Psychology and Cognitive Science

Students studying brain and cognitive sciences typically take statistics courses in other classes. However, Clarke’s desire to learn more relevant statistics for her own research has shifted to a departmental statistics course that all students can now benefit from.

“The weakest aspect of our postgraduate education in history has suddenly become a public speaking subject,” writes and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive Science. A joint statement from undergraduate students states, “As a current graduate student, she can relate to us better based on her own experiences. . . And he really understands the right balance between giving help and allowing us to know the text for ourselves.

Kendall DeBoer, PhD candidate in visual and cultural studies

DeBoer’s passion and energy, knowledge and technical skills helped make Janet Berlo’s last semester of instruction unforgettable. Recently retired professor of art history and visual and cultural studies, Berlo wrote that she was “delighted as a graduate student” to teach something new in Belo’s writing and arts education. I wanted to raise my hand too – I had been in the classroom as a professor for 43 years! She writes.

Students in the class, many international students who could not travel due to COVID-19, praised Deborah. One noticed that she had “made her love of art and her passion shine through a boring and blue magnifying glass.”

Michael Ormsbee, PhD candidate in English

Ormsbe hinted at changing the course direction of the 105 introductory essays that teach in response to student input. He quickly learned the Zoom chat feature to motivate student comments by transitioning to online learning. His creative education plans combine popular and high culture. For example, the song “I have to stay or I have to go” helps Jane Irene’s argument with Rochester in the conflict.

His teaching materials always “work together to create a vibrant and effective learning experience for every student,” wrote Deborah Rosson-Kinil, director of the college’s writing, speaking and debate program.

Alice Wind, PhD candidate in history

Although he taught archeology techniques on a small island in Bermuda or took courses during the epidemic, Wind went “extra miles” to establish sympathetic relationships with his student, said Laura Akkerman Smeller, Chair and Professor at the Department of History. Students appreciate Wind’s ability to show similar compassion and challenge to those who have lived in the past, with one saying, “Trying to get into the minds of people who are divided.”

Wind succeeds in her endeavors.

Tags: Edward Peck Curtis Award, Graduate Students

Category: University News

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