At the 128th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, nine members of the Stanford community will be recognized with awards for exceptional service, for distinctive contributions to undergraduate education and for excellence in teaching.

Their contributions will be recognized onstage in Stanford Stadium with presentations of Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Awards, Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Awards and Walter J. Gores Awards.

During Commencement, the citation honoring each individual will be read aloud.

2019 Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award winners

The Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for Contributions to Stanford University, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the achievement of the university’s goals, is open to all members of the Stanford community. This year’s winners are Maggie Burgett and Patricia Gumport:

Maggie Burgett, one of this year's Amy J. Blue Award winners, has overseen the construction of landmark buildings on campus, including the Cantor Arts Center, the Clark Center and Y2E2. Now she is conducting the team building Bing Concert Hall.

Maggie Burgett (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Maggie Burgett, a project executive in Land, Buildings and Real Estate, was honored “for her ability to bring projects in on time and on budget, and managing stakeholder expectations with a deft hand.”

She was commended “for her wide breadth of knowledge in, and her careful management of Stanford’s resources” and “for listening deeply, and for calmly and thoughtfully outlining an approach to complex challenges.”

Burgett was also honored “for her devotion to Stanford, and her impact on the people and places that make Stanford special.”


Patricia Gumport (Image credit: Courtesy Patricia Gumport)

Patricia J. Gumport, vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, and a professor of education, was honored “for working closely and collaboratively with graduate students to enhance the graduate education experience at Stanford.”

She was commended “for increasing the visibility of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students and amplifying their voices within faculty and administrative circles.”

Gumport was also honored “for exhibiting the perfect combination of leading and listening” and “for her kind, giving nature, which inspires others to give of themselves.”

2019 Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award winners

The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education recognizes distinctive and exceptional contributions to undergraduate education or the quality of student life at Stanford. This year’s winners are James Campbell, Christopher LeBoa and Cynthia Lee:

James Campbell (Image credit: Chris Queen)

James Campbell, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History in the School of Humanities and Sciences, was honored “for his committed service as a Resident Fellow who continues to push for student-centered innovations.”

He was commended “for his impact on both individual students and the undergraduate population as a whole through his work as Faculty Director of Residential Programs” and “for his contributions to many undergraduate innovations, such as the Thinking Matters program and the WAYS system of requirements.”

Campbell was also honored “for spending so much of his heart, soul, time, energy and effort into making Stanford better for undergraduates.”

Christopher LeBoa (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Christopher LeBoa, a master’s candidate in epidemiology and clinical research, and a bachelor’s candidate with honors in human biology, was honored “for his special ability to think beyond an outcome and consider how to engage his peers.”

He was commended “for catalyzing other students to be actively involved in Stanford Food Recovery, and to look for opportunities to expand partnership.”

LeBoa was also honored “for shaping the service experience of his peers with his leadership and his big heart” and “for his commitment to bettering the Stanford community.”

Cynthia Lee (Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Engineering)

Cynthia Lee, a lecturer in computer science, was honored “for her commitment to inclusive education” and “for understanding how to use her voice, position and influence to empower others.”

She was commended “for her combined passion for teaching and for improving the inclusiveness of computer science.”

Lee was also honored “for being nothing short of disruptive, in the best sense of the term.”

2019 Walter J. Gores Award winners

The Walter J. Gores Award recognizes undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence. This year’s winners (all affiliated with the School of Humanities and Sciences) are Daniel George Birman, Zephyr Frank, Iris Malone and Erin Mordecai:

Dan Birman (Image credit: Anne Neirynck)

Daniel George Birman, a PhD candidate in psychology, was honored “for building fantastic learning experiences for students, including playful web-based brain simulations that acquaint students with complex ideas.”

He was commended “for his innovative teaching through lectures and sections that cover links between natural and artificial intelligence, and ethical questions raised as science and technology advance.”

Birman was also honored “for helping his fellow PhDs grow as teachers through his management of the teaching team” and “for developing coursework that routinely exceeds student expectations.”


Zephyr Frank (Image credit: Nikki Ritcher Photography)

Zephyr Frank, the Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and a professor of history, was honored “for building relationships with each of his students” and “for fostering intellectual curiosity and ambition.”

He was commended “for welcoming critical discussions and encouraging students to engage as intellectual equals.”

Frank was also honored “for his remarkable ability and willingness to engage productively with subjects outside of his sphere of interest.”

Iris Malone (Image credit: Christine Rice)

Iris Malone, a PhD candidate in political science, was honored “for being a role model for what it means to be an innovative researcher and an inspiring mentor.”

She was commended “for designing curriculum for several multi-day international crisis simulations and mentoring graduate students through the Mentors in Teaching program.”

Malone was also honored “for outstanding service as a teaching assistant that leads students to actively seek out other courses in which she is a TA” and “for teaching students how to develop original theories to answer complex questions and sharpen their critical thinking skills.”

Erin Mordecai (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Erin Mordecai, an assistant professor of biology, was honored “for engaging with students at a high level of intellectual intensity, respect and belief in their capabilities.”

She was commended “for viewing teaching as an opportunity for students to explore complex topics at great depth” and “for imparting life lessons and encouraging students to dedicate themselves to their passion.”

Mordecai was also honored “for being an inspiring role model for women in science.”