Graduate Students

Humanities Division Returns to Rockefeller Chapel for 536th Convocation

The Humanities Division celebrated its first Convocation ceremony in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel since 2019.

While many still wore masks, graduates celebrated their first Division of the Humanities Convocation ceremony on June 3 in Rockefeller Chapel since 2019 with unequaled joy. It was finally time for the graduates, faculty members, families, and colleagues to move back to a familiar arena, which their pandemic experiences made the celebration more poignant.

“We were delighted to be back in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel commemorating the accomplishments of our graduates and looking toward their bright futures,”
said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities. “In my experience, the excitement, appreciation, and gratitude of this year’s graduates was unparalleled.”

In addition to celebrating the achievements of more than 150 graduating students with master’s and doctoral degrees, four leaders in the Humanities Division, including Dean Robertson and Dean of Students Shea Wolfe, recognized nine students and faculty members for their achievements.

UChicago Instructors, Grad Students Honored in 2022 for Exceptional Teaching

Spring on the UChicago Hyde Park campus

The University of Chicago has honored nine instructors and graduate students for their exceptional work as teachers. Nominated by undergraduates in the College, these winners demonstrated the ability to push students to think beyond the classroom, and to share their disciplines in exciting ways.

Anne Beal, Benjamin Callard, Trevor Hyde, John Kennedy and Veronica Vegna have been awarded the Glenn and Claire Swogger Award for Exemplary Classroom Teaching, which recognizes outstanding teachers with College appointments who introduce students to habits of scholarly thinking, inquiry and engagement in the Core Curriculum—the College’s general education program.

Ian Bongalonta, Karlyn Gorski, Peishu Li and Marguerite Sandholm have been named the 2022 winners of the Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded annually to University of Chicago graduate students for outstanding instruction of undergraduates. 

Kate Petroff, a Doctoral Student in Philosophy, Earns Freund Prize

Kate Petroff

Spencer Caro, ’23, and Kate Petroff, a UChicago graduate student in philosophy, each have been awarded an Ernst Freund Fellowship in Law and Philosophy to develop novel interdisciplinary research projects. Caro will draw on philosophical ideas from epistemology as well as law and statistics to argue for higher standards for scoring consumers’ creditworthiness. Petroff will advocate for a clearer definition of human exploitation in hopes of closing a gap that has stymied efforts to deal with human trafficking.

The fellowship, designed to encourage advanced law and philosophy scholarship among graduate students, was established in 2016 after Professor Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, donated a portion of the proceeds from her Kyoto Prize to the Law School and the University’s Department of Philosophy. The $5,000 award is typically given to either a law student or graduate student in philosophy, but this year the committee chose two recipients.

“We were delighted to have an unprecedented number of proposals, all of high quality, so the selection was difficult,” said Nussbaum, who was part of the selection committee, along with Brian Leiter, the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence. “Fortunately, an additional gift made it possible for us to give two prizes, and these two really stood out.”

Humanities Doctoral Student's Creative Vent Turns into Career

Isabel Lachenauer

For several summers, Isabel Lachenauer had a secret. During her doctoral program at UChicago, she wrote a novel each summer, channeling her anxious energy to a healthy place. Her creative writing became a private world to immerse herself while forgetting the pressures of her academic work.

Now the novel Lachenauer wrote during the first year of the pandemic—The Hacienda—is scheduled for publication by Berkley (Penguin/Random House) on May 3, 2022. The book received multiple bids from publishers, providing Lachenauer with ample funds and the incentive to continue her career as a novelist after she graduates with a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) in June 2022.

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