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Graduate Student Awards and Honors

The Robert T. Lagemann Award

The award has been established in 1988 in honor of Robert T. Lagemann, Landon C. Garland Professor of Physics, Emeritus, who taught at Vanderbilt from 1951 to 1977. The Lagemann award is given annually to an “entering or first-year graduate student for exceptional promise in physics”.

2019   Brenda Fabela Enriquez
2018   Thayer Walmsley and Brooks Musango 
2017   Lihan Liu, Abigail Petulante, and Savana Starko
2016   Kyle Godbey
2015   Austin Howes
2014   Andrey Baydin
2013   Hong Ni, Rui Wang, and Qiao Xu
2012   John Spear and Enhong Wang
2011   Peter Denton and Junhao Lin
2010   Shengquan Tuo and Alex Krejci
2009   Eric Appelt and Susan Kost
2008   Michael Andrew Clemens
2007   Holley Ellen Lynch
2006   Suseela Somarajan
2005   Christopher Tyler Goodin and Stephen Lee Johnson Jr.
2004   Rupam Das
2003   Eric Bishop Chancellor and Ke Li
2002   Dennis Fong and Junkai Xu
2001   Lin Tang
2000   Tamas Bakos
1999   Li Zhang
1998   Liguo Song and Xuequian Zhang
1997   Hui Chen, Hui Fan, Tian Ling
1996   Denis Malov
1995   Robert Cutler
1994   Tong Li and Biao Ye
1992   Stanley W. Brown and Robert B. Atchison

Most Outstanding Student Publication

The award was established in 2011 by the Graduate Program Committee and will be given annually to recognize the most outstanding student publication for a paper published during the previous calendar year.




Sylvia Morrow

Glenna Dunn


Creation of quark–gluon plasma droplets with three distinct geometriesNature Physics   15 p.  214 220  ( 2019 )

Sowing Black Hole Seeds: Direct Collapse Black Hole Formation with Realistic Lyman–Werner Radiation in Cosmological Simulations ,  The Astrophysical Journal Vol. 861 Number 1




Kyle Godbey

  Laura Vega


Dependence of fusion on isospin dynamics,Phys. Rev. C95, 011601(R) (2017)

Evidence for Binarity and Possible Disk Obscuration in Kepler Observations of the Pulsating RV Tau Variable DF Cygni,The Astrophysical Journal, 839:48 (9pp), 2017 April 10

2017   Hong Ni and Andrey Baydin  

Multiplicity and rapidity dependence of strange hadron production in pp, pPb, and PbPb collisions at the LHC,Phys. Lett. B768 (2017)103–129,

Depth dependent modification of optical constants arising from H+ implantation in n-type 4H-SiC measured using coherent acoustic phonons, APL Photonics 1, 036102 (2016)

2016    Ryan Nicholl, Michael Lund    The effect of intrinsic crumpling on the mechanics of free-standing graphene,Nature Communications, 6:8789 (2015) Transiting planets with LSST. I. Potential for LSST exoplanet detection, The Astronomical Journal,149,(2015)
2015   Junhao Lin   Flexible metallic nanowires with self-adaptive contacts to semiconducting transition-metal dichalcogenide monolayers, Nature Nanotechnology 9, 436–442 (2014)
2014   Fabienne Bastien,  Shengquan Tuo   An observational correlation between stellar brightness variations and surface gravity, Nature,500 ,427–430 (2013)
2013   Eric Appelt and Shengquan Tuo   Measurement of the elliptic anisotropy of charged particles produced in PbPb collisions at √sNN=2.76 TeV, Physical Review C87, 014902 (2013)
2012   Hiram Conley   Graphene Bimetallic-like Cantilevers: Probing Graphene/Substrate Interactions, Nano Lett. 2011, 11, 4748–4752
2011   Jed Ziegler   Plasmonic Response of Nanoscale Spirals,Nano Letters,10,3013-3018(2010)

The Akunuri V. Ramayya Award

Established in 2007 by Akunuri V. Ramayya, Professor of Physics, this award is given to the most outstanding physics or astronomy graduate student Teaching Assistant.

2019   Samuel White and Thayer Walmsley
2018   Sylvia Morrow and Gillian Beltz-Mohrmann
2017   Christina Davis and Kyle Godbey
2016   Zina Jarrahi
2015   Daniel Kidd and Christopher Massaro
2014   Sara Case, Steve Herchko, Ryan Nicholl
2013   Drew Dellamonica
2012   Chong Cai
2011   Keith Warnick and Michael Carlson
2010   Joyeeta Nag and Heungman Park
2009   Jeffrey Clay Hammonds
2008   William Teets
2007   Marcin Michal Jankiewicz

The Royal Albridge Award

Established in 2007 in honor of Royal Albridge, Professor of Physics, who taught at Vanderbilt from 1961 to 2007. Presented annually to the most outstanding first time physics or astronomy graduate student Teaching Assistant.

2011   Andy Muhich and Lisa Genovese
2010   Andres Delannoy and Alex Krejci
2009   Jason Pawlowski and Caroline Yount
2007   Holley Ellen Lynch