Graduate Student Senate Honors Brown Faculty, Staff Members for Outstanding Contributions

Faculty; PhD; Social Work; Students

Two members of the Brown School have been recognized by the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) for their significant contributions to the graduate student experience.

Associate Professor Derek Brown will receive the 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award, while Marissa Hardwrict, PhD program manager, has been selected to receive an Outstanding Staff Award.

The award was a welcome surprise for Brown, and he noted it was especially heartening considering the teaching challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To think that I was able to be recognized for working and mentoring students made me feel quite honored and like all the adaptations and extra time we’ve all put in over the last few years was impactful and worthwhile,” he said.

Graduate students across the entire university nominate potential honorees each year. Faculty criteria include supporting graduate students’ quality of life, workplace, and scholarly and professional development. Staff members are chosen based on exceptional graduate student community development, personal relationship building, and student advocacy for staff.

Hardwrict, a two-time winner, having previously received the Staff Award in 2017, was shocked and immediately grateful upon learning she’d won the staff award again.

“I am honored, humbled and grateful for this recognition from my students. I pour a lot of myself into this role, and it’s awesome to know that it does not go unnoticed,” she said. “One of the best parts of my job is witnessing the students achieve their goals. It’s an honor watching them grow in academia.”

Brown says knowing the award comes from students is a fantastic feeling.

“They have to take the initiative to do that and it’s so impressive that they’re willing to take some extra care and time to think of me and submit a nomination,” he said.

“I am so proud of the growth I’ve seen in several advisees and students make over the past year. To know that they felt I played a role in developing their skills is a wonderful feeling.”

Brown joined the Brown School in 2013. His research focuses on costs, access to care, quality and disparities among Medicaid populations – including physician payments, housing instability and child maltreatment. He teaches health economics and health policy in the Master of Public Health program.

Hardwrict has been at WashU since 2006. She transitioned to her current position in 2014. She’s responsible for the entire process of a graduate students’ doctoral experience, from recruitment to commencement. That includes advising, helping to find funding, managing milestones and assisting in job placement.

The 2022 Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge. Family, friends, colleagues, and students are all welcome to attend. In addition to the ceremony, there will be a reception with food and refreshments.