» James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award is awarded annually and is the highest honor for graduate students at Chapman University. The original Doti Award trophy, incorporating artist Nick Hernandez's sculpture Emergence, remains on perpetual exhibit in Argyros Forum. The trophy is engraved with the names of all Doti Award recipients.

The recipients of the Doti Award (one Doctoral student and one Master's student) receive an award in the amount of $1,000 and a copy of the sculpture featured on the permanent award at Commencement. The recipient is publicly recognized at their school's graduation ceremony.

+ - 2016 Outstanding Graduate Student Award Recipients

Dr. Ahmed Younis, Ph.D. in Education, Leadership Studies emphasis, and Ms. Julia Walton, dual Master of Arts in English and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, earned Chapman University’s 2016 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.

Dr. Ahmed Younis received a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in leadership studies. His nomination from the College of Educational Studies states, “The faculty and students consider him a leader, problem solver, innovator and a deeply reflective and caring educator.” Dr. Younis’s research focuses on the pedagogy of raising critical consciousness as a component of the development of Muslim American identity. In addition to teaching, developing courses, and giving talks at Chapman, he strives to develop a critical commons by addressing many audiences though public television, TED talks, educational conferences, and political summits both locally and internationally. Dr. Younis has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world and has served as a Citizen Diplomat on behalf of the State Department for both the Bush and Obama Administrations. 

Ms. Julia Walton is receiving a dual Master of Arts in English and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Ms. Walton is described as “a first-rate student and a fine writer.” She has recently successfully sold her first young adult novel Words on Bathroom Walls to Random House for publication in Spring 2017 and has been offered a contract for a second young adult novel to be published by Random House in Spring 2018. Her nomination from the Department of English states, “Her success is an inspiration… absolute evidence that talent, hard work, and perseverance can ultimately pay off for the aspiring writer.” Ms. Walton is also the author of an interactive children’s book, Lucy Grace: ROTTEN; a contributor to Nanoism, an online publication for twitter-fiction; and a writer for Kayu Media.

+ - Past Outstanding Graduate Student Award Recipients

2015

Ms. Nicol R. Howard, Ph.D. in Education, Cultural and Curricular Studies emphasis, and Mr. Rene Israel German, Master of Science in Computational and Data Science, earned Chapman University’s 2015 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.

Dr. Nicol R. Howard received a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in cultural and curricular studies. Her nomination from the College of Educational Studies stated, “She has demonstrated a consistent history of caring and service, along with an indefatigable and vibrant search for knowledge and the advancement of research to benefit children.” Dr. Howard’s research has recently focused on the predictability of STEM achievement in algebra for female high school students utilizing parent involvement. She has also written several articles focused on effective technology use in the classroom. In addition to teaching and developing courses at Chapman, Dr. Howard has been working in the public school system for the past eight years, and currently teaches in the Santa Ana Unified School District. 

Mr. Rene Israel German is receiving a Master of Science in computational and data science. His nomination from Schmid College of Science and Technology stated, “To those of us in the Schmid College that have gotten to know him since he arrived at Chapman over 12 years ago, Rene is more than just an outstanding student. He is a talented teacher, genuine mentor, and a dependable colleague.” He currently works in Chapman’s Machine Learning and Assistive Technology Lab, where he tackles research problems in autism and ABA therapy. Mr. German is an adjunct professor at Chapman and has served as Senior Software Engineer for Core Logic. Recently, he became Lead Software Engineer for grandPad, Inc.

2014

Mr. Ryan J. McGill, Ph.D. in Education, School Psychology emphasis, and Mr. Thomas C. Cottam, Master of Arts in International Studies, earned Chapman University’s 2014 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.

Mr. Ryan McGill is receiving a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in school psychology. Ryan has demonstrated a consistent history of caring and service, along with an indefatigable and vibrant search for knowledge and the advancement of research to benefit children. He has written several scholarly works, has made over 20 presentations throughout the U.S., serves on two professional journal editorial boards, and mentors students as they learn to publish and present their own works. He has taught advanced courses at Chapman and La Sierra University. Recently, he accepted a full-time faculty position at Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas.

Mr. Thomas Cottam is receiving a Master of Arts in international studies with particular interests in national security and U.S.-China relations. In addition to his outstanding academic achievements, Tom is the model of global citizenship that is central to Chapman’s mission. His commitment to understanding cross-cultural interactions has inspired him to live and work in Scotland, to teach English in China, and to enlist in the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst. Mr. Cottam served 15 months in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a member of Sigma Iota Rho honors society for international studies.

2013

Ms. Amy Hanreddy, Ph.D. in Education, Disability Studies emphasis, and Ms. Valentina Marinac, Master of Arts in International Studies, earned Chapman University’s 2013 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Awards.

+ - Criteria for Consideration

To qualify, nominees must have:

  1. Received degree conferral in January of the current Academic Year, or have applied for degree conferral for May or August of the current Academic Year;
  2. Exhibited academic excellence and outstanding professional leadership as a graduate student at Chapman University.

+ - Selection Process

The selection procedure for the recipient of the Doti Award is as follows:

  1. The faculty of each school/college may select up to two Doctoral level nominees and two Master's level nominees for submission from its cohort of graduates who qualify under the criteria.
  2. School/college nominations will be forwarded by staff to the Graduate Academic Council for selection of the Doctoral level recipient and the Master's level recipient.
  3. Each award recipient and his or her school/college will be notified in writing.