Awards & Honors

Horace Mann Medal
The Horace Mann Medal was established in 2003 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Brown University Graduate School. The award is given annually to a Brown Graduate School alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field, inside or outside of academia. The medal replaces the Distinguished Graduate School Alumni Award, and, since 2008, is awarded at the University’s Commencement exercises in May. Any graduate of a Brown advanced-degree program is eligible.

2013 Medalist
Karen L. King '84 Ph.D.

Karen L. King is the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. She is the first woman appointed to this, the oldest endowed chair in the United States (1721). Prior to her October 2009 appointment to the endowed chair, she served as the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History. She was first appointed to the Harvard Divinity School in 1998.

Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she pursues teaching and research specialties in the history of Christianity. Her particular theoretical interests are in discourses of normativity (orthodoxy and heresy), gender studies, and religion and violence.

Her books include The Secret Revelation of John; The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle; What Is Gnosticism?; Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (with Elaine Pagels); and Revelation of the Unknowable God.

She has received research grants and awards for excellence in teaching and research; among them are grants from the Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, and the Graves Foundation.

Dr. King is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Association for Coptic Studies, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.


Joukowsky Dissertation Award
The Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award is an annual prize awarded by the Graduate School for superior achievements in research by students who are completing their Ph.D.s. Supported through the generosity of the Joukowsky Family Foundation, the awards are usually given to four students per year, one from each of the four main areas: the humanities, the life sciences, the physical sciences, and the social sciences. The award and an honorarium are given out at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

2013 Award Winners 

  • Benjamin Raphael Teitelbaum '13 Ph.D.
    “Come Hear our Merry Song”: Shifts in the Sound of Contemporary Swedish Radical Nationalism
  • Jennifer R. Davis '13 Ph.D.
    Genetic, Biochemical and Biophysical Investigations of Lignocellulose Degradation by Actinobacteria for Bioenergy Applications
  • Michael M. H. Luk '13 Ph.D.
    The Search for a Heavy Top-Like Quark
  • Susan Helen Ellison '13 Ph.D.
    Mediating Democracy in El Alto: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia

Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching is an annual prize awarded by the Graduate School to recognize outstanding pedagogical achievement by a Brown University graduate student. The award and an honorarium are given out at the University Awards ceremony, which is held in early May.

2013 Award Winners

Anna F. Bialek, Religious Studies
Jason M. Scimeca, Cognitive Science


Graduate School Faculty Award for Advising and Mentoring
Created by the Graduate Council in 2010, the Graduate School Faculty Award for Advising and Mentoring recognizes a faculty member who has made a significant contribution as an advisor or mentor to graduate students. Any Brown faculty member who has served as graduate advisor, trainer, or dissertation chair, unofficial or official mentor is eligible for nomination. The recipient is honored at the annual University Awards Ceremony. The award is announced at Commencement.

2013 Award Winner
Ellen Rooney,
Chair and Professor, Modern Culture and Media and Professor of English


Wilson-DeBlois Award
The Brown University Graduate Student Council confers the Wilson-DeBlois Award annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to graduate students and the Graduate School. The Wilson-DeBlois Award is named in honor of George Grafton Wilson and Austen K. DeBlois, recipients of Brown’s first Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1889. The award is given annually on behalf of all Brown graduate students to express their appreciation for the recipient’s dedication and commitment to graduate students at the University.

2013 Award Winner
Janet Peters
, Coordinator, Writing Center