Celebrating Excellence 2022

Graduate College annual event celebrates scholars and their contributions to ASU

On March 31, the Graduate College hosted its annual “Celebrating Excellence” event to recognize the success of students who are a recipient of one or more awards funded or administered by the Graduate College in the 2021-22 academic year. 

The afternoon reception welcomed awardees of over a dozen fellowships, scholarships and award programs along with their faculty mentors to applaud their achievements and recognize their hard work and contributions to research and the communities served by ASU. 

“This event is held to celebrate and recognize the outstanding scholarship of graduate students,” Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate College Elizabeth Wentz said.

The Graduate College is honored to provide support to over 400 scholars celebrated at this year’s event. Many of the scholars in attendance shared with the group how their award impacted their research and studies.

“This award has been fundamental and life-changing to me in regard to what I can achieve academically,” Prashamsa Thapa, a PhD student in Innovation and Global Development, said about her Enrichment Fellowship. “This award has allowed me to focus primarily on my research interest since the start of my PhD and communicate, engage and learn from my cohort, who are brilliant.”

Mirtha Garcia shared how she plans to use her Tripke Travel Grant to conduct research in Spain. “I have been able to prepare myself to conduct my dissertation research in a thorough and extensive manner with key preliminary research and work,” she said. Her travels will allow her to conduct archival work pivotal to her research topic for her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology.

Kristi Glassmeyer, a PhD candidate in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said the funding impacted not only her studies, but through it she was “also able to prepare for the job market and support my family.”

A tradition of this event is to collect “impact words” from recipients to share as a collective. This year’s words included life-changing, transformative, opportunity, encouraging, momentous and helpful, amongst others.

As the Graduate College continues to find additional opportunities to support and celebrate students across the institution, events like this, that bring together those of all disciplines to build community and broaden their network of fellow scholars, will continue to be an integral part of our work. 

“By supporting high-achieving graduate student scholarship, ASU can continue its trajectory of producing an innovative public benefit to the communities it serves locally, nationally and worldwide,” Wentz concluded in her address.


Angela Mitchell