February 4, 2013 | By Colton Knedler
On January 31, the Allen G. Marr Prize Distinguished Dissertation Award Plaque Presentation luncheon took place at UC Davis. Kathryn Marr, wife of the late UC Davis Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Allen G. (Jerry) Marr, was the guest of honor.
Also in attendance were three past Marr Prize winners – Mark Siegler, Kirk Ehmsen and Emine Gunhan-Agar – as well as Carolina Bistué, a UC Davis Viticulture and Enology graduate student who represented her sister Maria Belen Bistué (a past Marr Prize recipient). Graduate Studies Dean Jeffery Gibeling, Senior Director of Development Janet Berry, Development Analyst Rafaela Paulino, and former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and long-time Marr friend and advocate, Douglas Minnis, were also present.
Following the lunch, a beautiful engraved plaque commemorating all 20 past winners was unveiled and will be displayed in Graduate Studies at 250 Mrak Hall on the UC Davis campus.
The luncheon was the perfect opportunity for Mrs. Marr to meet a few award recipients and learn how the prize has helped them pursue and achieve their career goals. Mrs. Marr continues to be the guiding force behind the prize that is awarded in her late husband’s honor. Their shared vision for excellence was personified by the alumni present (and in absentia):
- Mark Siegler, 1998 winner in Economics, is currently an economics professor at CSU, Sacramento and a visiting professor at UC Davis. He was also an assistant professor at Williams College, UC Berkeley and Harvard University.
- Kirk Ehmsen, 2009 winner in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is a postdoctoral scholar in the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Department at the UC San Francisco's School of Medicine.
- Emine Gunhan-Agar, 2001 winner in Neuroscience, is Assistant Research Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior at UC Davis and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Immunotoc, Inc., which provides custom based immuntoxin construction for research purposes.
- Maria Belen Bistué, 2011 winner in Comparative Literature, is a researcher at the Comparative Literature Center in the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina. She conducts research on the practice of collaborative translation and the production of multilingual editions in Spanish America during the conquest and colonial period.
Graduate Studies and their graduate students wish to sincerely thank Kathryn Marr, Douglas Minnis and the many others who have donated to the Marr Prize and continue their support of graduate education at UC Davis.
About the Award
The Allen G. Marr Prize Distinguished Dissertation Award was created after Allen (Jerry) Marr retired from his 20 year tenure as the UC Davis Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The annual prize is awarded to a doctoral student (past or present) in honor of his/her excellent dissertation work. The eligible fields of study for prize consideration change every year. The winner is also nominated by UC Davis for the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, another prize that is based on exceptional dissertation work. Learn more about the Marr Prize.