DBS Members Bring Home Four Awards

News Source
Division of Biological Sciences

We extend heartfelt congratulations to Victor Sy, Darah Oxford, Dr. Joe Viteri, and Dr. Allison Roth whose  achievements were recognized at MU’s 11th Annual Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards ceremony.   

Science Teaching Excellence 

Sy and Oxford were both awarded the Sandra K. Abell Science Education Award. This award acknowledges graduate students who excel in both research and teaching. 

Sy is a seasoned teaching assistant with the Division. His TA record includes General Genetics, Genetics and Society, and Invertebrate Zoology Lab, which represent intro- and upper-level courses as well as a WI course. As a TA, he has been responsible for leading both lab and discussion/recitation sections. Students laud him as an engaging, affable, and helpful teacher and regularly praise the creative efforts he uses to illustrate complex concepts. He also is recognized for his constant drive to improve his teaching methods and his commitment to the educational environment through his involvement in the Division’s Undergraduate Education Committee. His passion for science education extends beyond the classroom walls, as evidenced by his leadership roles in two popular science outreach programs: Science on Wheels and Science on Tap. 

Oxford also has a remarkable TA record, which includes introductory and upper-level biology labs. Notably, she played a pivotal role in designing and developing essential resources, lesson plans, class materials, and student assessments for a new upper-level human physiology lab in the Division. Her dedication to student learning also goes well beyond the classroom, as she actively mentors undergraduates and demonstrates her commitment to fostering a passion for science in younger generations by leading a week-long summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Match) camp at Columbia College. 

Dissertation and Research Recognition 

Dr. Joe Viteri, who recently graduated with a doctorate in biological sciences, received an award for top dissertation in the area of life sciences. His dissertation sheds light on the remarkable ability of neural networks to consistently generate motor behaviors throughout an organism’s lifespan.  

Dr. Allison Roth, a Preparing Future Faculty for Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow, was recognized for her receipt of a MU postdoctoral research grant in support of her research on social behavior in California quail.

[Image: DBS award winners (L-R): Dr. Allison Roth, Victor Sy, Dr. Joe Viteri, and Darah Oxford]