Heller Awards recognize excellence in teaching, research, equity and more

April 05, 2019

The 2019 Heller Award winners with Dean Weil (left).
Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (right), who received the teaching award, with Dean Weil.
Ravi Lakshmikanthan, who received the mentorship award, speaks to the community virtually.
Ravi Lakshmikanthan's daughter Meghna, a Brandeis freshman, accepted the award on his behalf.
PhD student Alexandra Kritikos received the TA award.
Rachel Sayko Adams received the research award.
Bria Price, MPP'19, received the new equity, inclusion and diversity award.

The Heller School presents awards each spring to members of the community for outstanding service in teaching, mentoring, teaching assistance, staff service, research, and equity, inclusion and diversity. The awards are nominated from within the school community and determined each year by a committee of past awardees, students and recent alumni. 

Dean David Weil presented the awards in Zinner Forum, starting with the award for teaching. Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, who teaches classes on strategic management and operations management, received that award.

The mentoring award, which was opened up this year to include staff members in addition to faculty and researchers, went to Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Services Ravi Lakshmikanthan, MA SID’99. He joined the celebration via video call and sent his daughter Meghna, a Brandeis freshman, to accept the award on his behalf. 

The staff service award was presented to Marc Kiredjian’05, who was instrumental in creating the Summer Institute for COEX, SID and MS students in 2018 and was promoted to Associate Director for Academic Affairs and Innovation this past year.

PhD student Alexandra Kritikos received the teaching assistant award for her excellence as a TA for the American Health Care System and Health Economics class. She spoke of her struggles in school when she moved to Greece as a child, which has fueled her desire to help others succeed.

The early career research investigator award was presented to Rachel Sayko Adams, PhD’13, a scientist in the Institute for Behavioral Health. Her research focuses on traumatic brain injury and substance use disorder, particularly among members of the military.

Dean Weil presented the newest Heller award, for equity, inclusion and diversity, to Bria Price, MPP’19. As she stepped up to the microphone to accept her award, she told the crowd, “I hear you, I see you, I love you. I hope you can carry that with you wherever you go.”