2014 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel, Gores awards honor faculty, students and staff
Five members of the faculty, two undergraduate students and a doctoral candidate are being honored for their exceptional contributions to the university. The awards will be presented at the Commencement Ceremony, June 15.
Eight members of the Stanford community will be recognized at Commencement with Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel and Gores awards.
The awards honor individuals for exceptional contributions to Stanford, for distinctive contributions to undergraduate education and for excellence in teaching. Five members of the faculty, two undergraduate students and a doctoral candidate will receive the awards on Sunday, June 15, at the 123rd Commencement Ceremony.
The Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for Exceptional Contributions to Stanford University, which was established by members of the faculty in 1981, was named after one of the early architects of Stanford's long-term financial planning and fundraising program.
Robert D. Simoni, the Donald Kennedy Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of biology, is the 2014 Cuthbertson Award winner.
Simoni was honored "for 43 years of exemplary service to Stanford, including serving as chair of the Faculty Senate, acting provost and five terms as chair of the Biology Department, strengthening the programs and research of the largest department in the School of Humanities and Sciences."
The award cited Simoni's efforts "for faculty governance as chairman of the University Advisory Board."
Simoni was honored "for his boundless enthusiasm for teaching – one faculty member noted he holds the world record for teaching the biology core – to the great benefit of thousands of students, many now leading researchers and doctors."
He also was commended "for his efforts to increase diversity and encourage greater participation in science among underrepresented groups, for being a generous and perceptive mentor to junior faculty and for his inspiring leadership, sense of humor and genuine concern for others."
The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education, named after the president of the Board of Trustees who served from 1953 to 1958, recognizes outstanding service to undergraduate education and to the quality of student life. The 2014 winners are:
Jaksić was honored "for the excellence of his teaching that brings material alive for students and broadens their world view" and "for sharing his insights and passion for the history and cultures of Chile and Latin America, instilling empathy and curiosity while educating students about the region."
The award cited Jaksić "for his deep concern for his students’ personal growth and wellbeing, especially as they struggle to balance academic demands with the challenges of living in another culture" and "for his central role in making overseas studies a transformative and 'truly unforgettable' experience."
Rehm was honored "for dual role as artist and scholar, encouraging students to engage and discuss, debate and question," and "for the immense impact he has had on the education of hundreds of undergraduates who participated in his theater productions and the countless others who viewed them."
The award cited Rehm "for dozens of theater performances and 15 years as artistic director of Stanford Repertory Theater – delighting, informing and stimulating the university and surrounding communities with productions of Chekhov, Ionesco, Sophocles, Beckett, Wilde, Walcott and others."
Rehm also was honored "for being – to quote one colleague – a brilliant, committed, persistent, important force for good on the Stanford campus."
Ken Savage, a senior in drama/theater and performance studies and a coterminal master's student in communication.
Savage was honored "for his wide-ranging service to the Stanford undergraduate community in multiple capacities and within diverse communities" and "for his commitment to theater as a medium for social change and his service as artistic director for the Asian American Theater Project."
The award cited Savage "for his vision, perseverance and ability to think creatively in the face of challenges – exemplified by his production of My Fair Lady in the Bing Concert Hall, the first musical theater production to be performed there" and "for leadership that inspires and empowers his fellow students."
Miles Seiver, a senior in computer science and a coterminal master's student in computer science.
Seiver was honored "for outstanding service on the Board on Judicial Affairs, including serving as student co-chair," and "for his thoughtful work as a student advocate during a time of change in the Student Judicial Charter."
The award cited Seiver "for his patient collaboration with other student leaders, including the Associated Students of Stanford University presidents and members of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student councils, seeking all viewpoints to guide discussions to productive resolutions," and "for his strong leadership in increasing understanding of the judicial process to ensure that Stanford continues to be a place where all students thrive."
The Walter J. Gores Awards are the university's highest teaching honor. They are named for Professor Walter J. Gores, a member of the Stanford Class of 1917 who became a professor of design at the University of Michigan. The 2014 winners are:
She was honored "for her dedication to the success of all students, challenging those with significant accounting knowledge and guiding those who panic at the sight of balance sheets," and "for her willingness to innovate and assess the effectiveness of her teaching, improving her courses from year to year."
The award cited Beyer "for her accessibility and generosity as an adviser, mentor and motivator of students."
Beyer also was commended "for extraordinary teaching that makes accounting 'awesome' – not an adjective usually used to describe accounting – and routinely prompts standing ovations at the end of the quarter."
Fenner was honored "for the enthusiasm she brings to her Federal Litigation course and critiquing legal briefs, providing detailed, clear and substantive comments that help students make stronger arguments."
The award cited Fenner "for masterful teaching of advocacy skills – both in the classroom and in her individual review of written and oral communications," and "for her abiding support and empathy for students that goes well beyond the classroom – encouraging both their academic success and personal happiness."
Fenner also was commended "for her commitment to excellence and deep caring for the students, the law school and the university."
Dennis Sun, a doctoral candidate in statistics.
Sun was honored "for innovative teaching that makes statistics fun, even for the most skeptical of students."
The award cited Sun "for his design and implementation of an online submission system for homework assignments – strengthening learning by providing almost instantaneous feedback, identifying problem areas and freeing up TAs to work more directly with students" and "for developing a system for anonymous peer grading that could enhance student understanding of critiqued materials."
Sun also was commended "for his drive to improve the learning experience and for the transformational impact he has had on how statistics is taught at Stanford."