University of Nebraska Medical Center

Awards and Recognition

We strive to give our graduate students the best education possible. Many of these students have gone above and beyond to pave the path for a better tomorrow, accomplishing exemplary displays of ability, brightness, and determination.

We celebrate those accomplishments and celebrate the efforts they make throughout their graduate careers. 

Graduate Students of Distinction

This award honors the outstanding work of UNMC students who have received national or international recognition. Our graduate students are talented, and we want to make sure to honor their accomplishments.

Recognition as a Graduate Student of Distinction is reserved for students who have received:

  • a fellowship based on review of applications from a national/international pool of candidates (NIH, NSF, AHA, etc.);
  • an award based on presentation of research results at a national meeting (abstract-based awards do not qualify);
  • an appointment to a standing committee of a national scientific society or professional association (ASPET, AAI, APS, AHA, AAUW, etc.);
  • or similar accomplishments.

Do you know of someone who needs to be recognized?

Please notify us of any major honors received by UNMC graduate students by emailing Graduate Studies the relevant information: notice of award, a 2-3 sentence description of the research that is being funded, and a recent headshot.

Students wearing academic attire prepare for a graduation ceremony

Current Students of Distinction

Read about our current Graduate Students of Distinction.

2021-2022 Praesto Award Recipient: Laura E. Flores (PhD in MSIA – Patient-Oriented Research)


2021-2022 Thomas Jefferson Ingenuity Award Recipient: Safwan K. Elkhatib (PhD in IGPBS - Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine)


Praesto Award

The Praesto Award is presented once a year to recognize the most exceptional graduate student, based on excellence in multiple areas or excellence overall. The award is presented at the Spring Graduate Studies Convocation Ceremony.

Thomas Jefferson Ingenuity Award

The Thomas Jefferson Ingenuity Award recognizes one PhD student who has shown unmatched creativity and ingenuity in completing the research requirements of their doctoral dissertation. It is presented at the Spring Graduate Studies Convocation Ceremony.

Service-Learning and Professional Development Badge Program

The Service-Learning and Professional Development Badge Program empowers graduate students to document their learning from time devoted to a wide range of important activities that advance their education and careers outside of the laboratory or classroom.

More information about the badge program, eligible activities, and instructions for recording your hours can be found here in the badge program guide.

UNMC offers four levels of recognition (bronze through platinum), with each increasing level requiring more service learning or interprofessional education activities.
Students will be awarded with a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum badge based on their achievements that can be included on the CV and will be acknowledged at the Graduate Studies Convocation Ceremony upon graduation.

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