Graduate School announces winners of 2014 Excellence Awards

Kingston Heath, Emily Cornell and Cecillia Enjuto Rangel have been selected for the Graduate School’s 2014 Excellence Awards. The awards recognize faculty and staff who lead and manage graduate programs and enhance the overall quality of graduate education at the University of Oregon.

Cornell, awarded the Excellence Award for Graduate Coordinators, was noted by the department of Special Education for her commitment to providing the best service possible with positive energy and a love of learning. She is known for her excellent problem-solving skills and provides useful and positive recommendations for efficiencies and improvements. Cornell, willing to embrace change and utilize technological innovation, was integral to implementation of the new student database system and a redesign of the department website. Her nomination stated, “Emily’s superior knowledge of the College of Education, the Graduate School, and the University of Oregon allows for efficient and excellent problem solving, reducing any urgent matter from a student to a carefree ‘I can take care of that.’”

Kingston Heath, professor of Historic Preservation, received the 2014 Excellence Award for Directors of Graduate StudiesHeath, recipient of the 2014 Excellence Award for Directors of Graduate Studies, was selected for his leadership in the Historic Preservation program during the past 11 years. He gave the program more coherence and prominence by bringing in new skilled teachers and experts in the field. He encouraged and funded program-wide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience, which significantly bolstered the program’s prominence for its mix of theoretical and practical/experiential research. Heath has worked collaboratively with other programs, shaped practical and forward-thinking career tracks for master’s students, increased cohort numbers, and lowered the average time to degree in the program. His excellence combines strong personal mentorship of students with a leader’s ability to gain grants and donations. His students write glowingly of his mix of “scholarly distinction, professional skill, and personal caring.”

Cecillia Enjuto Rangel, associate professor of Spanish, received the 2014 Excellence Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate StudentsEnjuto Rangel was awarded the Excellence Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Students. She was noted for providing unique mentorship opportunities to her students by actively bringing academic and artistic events to UO – events that keep her students up to date on scholarly advances and conversations, and provide opportunities to meet influential academics and artists in the field. Student nominators describe her as a challenging, but fair, teacher who fosters a love of culture and literature and expects only the best of her students. She works hard to put important scholarship, grant and internship opportunities within her students’ grasp. A common theme in Enjuto Rangel's nominations was her generosity with her time. "We want to emphasize that [Professor] Enjuto Rangel has markedly influenced our graduate study experience by giving a very precious and scarce gift among professors: time," her students wrote.

The awards are based on nominations that demonstrate the nominee’s unique contributions, innovative ideas and program improvements that positively impact the graduate program or student experience. Nominations include letters of support, with at least one written by a student. The home departments of Heath and Enjuto Rangel each receive a $500 graduate student research/travel award in the recipient’s name. Cornell receives a $250 prize.