Dr. Ayzegul Gunduz Honored With 2019 Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award

Release Date: May 14 2019

Left to right: Ms. Olivia Lanier (nominator), Dr. Aysegul Gunduz (award winner), and Dr. Henry T. Frierson (Graduate School Dean)


At University of Florida Graduate Research Day on April 2, 2019, Dr. Aysegul Gunduz (Associate Professor and Pruitt Family Term Fellow, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering) received the 2019 Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award, a joint honor bestowed by the UF Multicultural Association of Graduate Students and the UF Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives.


Each year, the Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award highlights a UF faculty or staff member who has advanced diversity, enhanced inclusion, and improved cross-cultural understanding within graduate education at UF.


In addition to Dr. Gunduz’s exemplary service as an instructor, researcher, and mentor, she has spearheaded new diversity initiatives at the department, college, and university levels. Her activism has resulted in more women faculty hires; community outreach to underrepresented students in public education, from kindergarten through high school; and policy development to ensure a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Her involvement in the UF Association for Academic Women (AAW) includes overseeing selections for the AAW Woman of Distinction Award and the Madelyn Lockhart Dissertation Award. She also secured National Science Foundation (NSF) funds to create an Emerging Scholar Award that provides five years of support to a female doctoral student in STEM fields. She is a recipient of the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award from the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Computing.


Dr. Gunduz was chosen from among 17 candidates nominated by graduate students: Dr. Christopher Busey (School of Teaching and Learning), Dr. Michelle Cardel (Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics), Dr. Sixue Chen (Biology), Dr. Maria Coady (School of Teaching and Learning), Dr. Coray Colina (Chemistry), Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune (Computer and Information Sciences), Dr. Katrina Indarawis (Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment), Dr. Diana Joyce-Beaulieu (School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies), Dr. Michelle McGaha (Industrial and Systems Engineering), Dr. Naim Montazeri (Agriculture and Life Sciences), Dr. Carlos Rinaldi (Chemical Engineering), Ms. Michelle Smith (College of Health and Human Performance), Dr. John Richard Stepp (Anthropology and Latin American Studies), Dr. Mickie Swisher (Family, Youth, and Community Studies), Dr. Thomas Waltzek (Infectious Disease and Immunology), and Dr. Jason Weaver (Chemical Engineering).


For more information about the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives (OGDI) in the UF Graduate School, click on this link: OGDI.