Skip to main content

2023 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel, and Gores award winners announced

The university awards recognize Stanford community members for exceptional teaching, service, and academic achievement.

Nine Stanford community members – including faculty, staff, and students – are recipients of the Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel, and Gores awards. The University Awards are presented annually to recognize the exceptional contributions of Stanford community members. The awards will be presented at Stanford’s 132nd Commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 18, at Stanford Stadium.

Following are this year’s honorees:

Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award winners

The Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award is open to all members of the Stanford community and recognizes extraordinary contributions to the achievement of university goals.

Stephanie Kalfayan (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Stephanie Kalfayan is vice provost for academic affairs. She is recognized for her many contributions to Stanford related to university policy and governance, capital planning, leadership searches, onboarding and orienting university leaders, campus safety, protection of academic freedom, the university’s COVID-19 pandemic response, Title IX processes, mental health services, and much more. Her colleagues praise her problem-solving skills and her nuanced and tactful approach to her work.

B. Howard Pearson (Image credit: Courtesy B. Howard Pearson)

B. Howard Pearson is a lecturer of estate planning at Stanford Law School and the university’s senior philanthropic advisor and development legal counsel. He is recognized for his work with Stanford’s many schools, units, and offices, his extraordinary ability to distill and evaluate complex information, assess risks and benefits, and develop options for solutions while being extremely sensitive to nuances and positioning of conversations. Colleagues describe him as a kind leader and role model, a guide for a growing institution, and the ultimate university citizen.

Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award winners

The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award recognizes distinctive and exceptional contributions to undergraduate education or the quality of student life.

Lernik Asserian

Lernik Asserian (Image credit: Courtesy Lernik Asserian)

Lernik Asserian is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics. She created Math 18, which adjusted curricula to meet the needs of students whose math preparation suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Math 18 expands on the SOAR course and acts as a bridge to Math 19, which she also teaches. Asserian also runs the Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics (SURIM), a program to support math students working on research projects with faculty and graduate students. She is lauded for supporting diverse learners and meeting students where they are.

Frankie Mulholland Cerkvenik (Image credit: Evan Peng)

Frankie Mulholland Cerkvenik is a coterminal student in computer science. She has served as a course assistant for CS107A, which provides resources, tutoring, and coaching to students seeking additional support and encouragement, including those from less-resourced backgrounds or who doubt their place in the field. She is recognized for her teaching skills, helping students grasp course material, and overall support of students in and out of the classroom.

Marvin Diogenes (Image credit: Alex Kekauoha)

Marvin Diogenes is director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric and Writing in the Major, as well as associate vice provost for undergraduate education. He has worked tirelessly to create and nourish a thriving and inclusive culture of undergraduate teaching and mentoring that supports students, lecturers, and faculty in exploring and practicing the power of the written word. He is recognized for working behind the scenes, serving as a mentor to countless instructors, and enhancing the classroom experience through developing a culture of learning, experimentation, and collaboration.

Walter J. Gores Award winners

The Walter J. Gores Award is the university’s highest award for excellence in teaching. It recognizes faculty and teaching staff who have made special contributions to teaching in its broadest sense, including lecturing, tutoring, advising, and discussion leading.

Lakshmi Balasubramanian (Image credit: Courtesy Lakshmi Balasubramanian)

Lakshmi Balasubramanian is a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education. She is recognized for her work in inclusive education with the Stanford Teacher Education Program, her support for students, and helping to change perceptions of students with disabilities. Balasubramanian’s students praise her pedagogical style, which involves giving them scenarios to work with, generous and engaged feedback, and an emphasis on real-world practice.

Sophie Libkind (Image credit: Courtesy Sophie Libkind)

Sophie Libkind is a PhD candidate in mathematics who has served as a TA or CA for a variety of undergraduate math courses, serving both math and non-math majors. She is recognized for her unique ability to make complex topics easier to understand, her instructional videos for Math 51, and designing an intensive four-week Introduction to Linear Algebra course for incoming first-year students in the Stanford Summer Engineering Academy. Students have called her a “masterful educator.”

Amanda Lu

Amanda Lu (Image credit: Sonia Giebel / Melissa Tran)

Amanda Lu is a graduating PhD candidate in education policy. Over the past few years, she has served as a teacher assistant and primary instructor for several public policy and education classes. She is recognized for her leadership and creating high-quality learning environments, particularly those conducted online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students laud her enthusiasm, her ability to engage them in lively and thought-provoking discussions, and her willingness to help students outside of the classroom.

Thomas Mullaney (Image credit: Michelle Mengsu Chang)

Thomas S. Mullaney is a professor of history. He is recognized for his devotion to students, innovative approach to teaching, and unique ability to inspire intellectual pursuits. Mullaney is also honored for his ability to immerse students in the craft of research. Undergraduate and graduate students have described him as an impactful mentor.