Gitner Prize

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Teaching assistants who have demonstrated their devotion to undergraduate teaching — including classroom presence, course preparation and administration, student counseling, and, where applicable, development of new courses and new methods of student instruction — may be eligible for a Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants. Up to four $1,000 prizes are awarded each year.

Nomination Process


To nominate a teaching assistant, send a letter to the department chair by February 1.

Chairs and directors of graduate studies:

All nomination packages must be submitted to the dean by either a department chair or a director of graduate studies. The deadline for nominations is March 1. If that date falls on a weekend or holiday, then the next business day becomes the deadline.

Each nomination must include:

  • Information about teaching performance
  • Letters from undergraduates (both majors & non-majors) including details on how the letters were obtained
  • Letter of nomination from the department chair including the opinions of the nominator(s)

The nomination materials should be submitted:

  • In one PDF file for each nominee using the following naming convention: Nominee last name-first initial_award-name_2015.pdf, for example: Huxley-T_Dean-2015.pdf
  • By email to the Arts & Sciences Awards Committee, with the award name in the subject of your email. You may submit multiple pdf files for a single award in one email, but each nomination must include a priority ranking.

Questions should be directed to the Arts & Sciences Awards Committee.

About Deanne Gebell Gitner

Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66, a graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences, has held careers as a teacher, real estate agent and writer, and for many years has served as a dedicated Cornell volunteer. While working as a staff writer for a weekly newspaper, Gitner shared with her Cornell classmates that she was “doing what I think Cornell prepared me for.” She added that, “as an English major with a minor in history, I enjoy covering local events and writing what is, in effect, local, contemporary history.” Her service to her alma mater has included roles as the Class of 1966 correspondent, the chair of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network for the Cornell Club of Eastern Florida and a life member of the Cornell University Council. Previously, she served as a member of the Tower Club Committee, a director of the Cornell Club of Northern New Jersey, a Cornell Inauguration Delegate and a member of several reunion campaigns for the Class of 1966. She has also been a board member and officer of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Millburn High School PTA. She is married to Gerald Gitner, the retired chair and CEO of Trans World Airlines. They have two children: Daniel '92, an Arts & Sciences graduate, and Seth.

In recognition of Gitner’s love for Cornell and her passion for education, her family has generously established the Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants in the College of Arts & Sciences. This prize will recognize and celebrate up to four graduate teaching assistants in Arts & Sciences, carrying Gitner’s legacy forward to future generations of Cornellians.



  • Nicholas Fletcher, ecology and evolutionary biology
  • Peregrine Gerard-Little, anthropology
  • Kelsey Houston-Edwards, mathematics
  • Jonathan Reinhardt, English


  • William Pennington, government
  • Drew Zemke, mathematics
  • Kristie Schlauraff, English
  • Ben Tam, English


  • Laura Manella, neurobiology & behavior
  • Sarah Maxey, government
  • Danielle Morgan, English
  • Allison Tracy, ecology & evolutionary biology


  • Adhaar Desai, English
  • Nicole Weygandt, government