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Timothy L. Cokkinias Award and Carolyn W. Fite Awards for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement by a Graduate Student

The Division of Biology offers awards to its graduate students based on their record of scholarly achievements at the University of Tennessee in the amount of $1000 each.

The competition is open to all currently enrolled graduate students recruited into the departments within the Division (BCMB, EEB, and Microbiology) and the Graduate School of Genome Science and Technology.  The exceptions are last year’s awardees.  These awards are based on achievements at UT; therefore, students early in their graduate study at UT should realistically consider whether their record of accomplishments merits the effort to complete an application.

An application for the award shall consist of the following:

  • Current curriculum vitae (including a listing of grants, travel awards, other recognition that has occurred while at UT)
  • Statement by the student describing their research and its contribution to their discipline (limit three pages)
  • Copy of UT transcript (may be a student issued copy)
  • Copies of reprints, including published abstracts of work completed at UT and other evidence of accomplishments, such as summary teaching evaluations, letters of thanks for outside activities, etc.
  • Three letters of reference – one from the student’s major professor and the other two from individuals familiar with the student’s work, especially while at UT. (See below for acceptable forms of reference letters.)  Names of references should be included with the application.  

The judging committee will be asked to evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  • The scope, significance and balance of achievements while at UT inclusive of grants, publications, other awards)
  • The potential for future growth as evidenced by accomplishments while a student.

Previous Award Winners

2011-2012 Awardees

  • Melissa Cregger, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Phillip Hollingsworth, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2012-2013 Awardees

  • Romina Dimarco, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Jin Ha Hwang, School of Genome Science and Technology
  • Elizabeth Padilla-Crespo, Microbiology


  • Stephanie Madison, Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology


  • Marisol Sanchez-Garcia, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Ogun Abedali, School of Genome Science and Technology
  • Mohammed Moniruzzaman, Microbiology


  • Arkadipta Bakshi, School of Genome Science and Technology
  • Zachary Marion, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Kristen Holbrook, Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Caroline Rempe, School of Genome Science and Technology


  • Rachel Wooliver, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Chelsi Cassilly, Microbiology
  • Siva Varanasi, School of Genome Science and Technology


  • John Harp, Microbiology
  • Joanna Cooper, Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Joy Buongiorno, Microbiology


  • Joseph Jackson, Microbiology
  • Sarah Cooper, School of Genome Science and Technology
  • Miranda Chen, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology