Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants

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.


Eligible Title:

Graduate teaching assistants


Recipients shall be persons 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 methods of student instruction. Note that there is a preference for one award to be given to a graduate student in the Department of Literatures in English and another in the Department of History.

Available Awards:

Up to four awards of $2,000 each

Nomination Process

The 2024 nomination submission deadline is Monday, March 11th.

Each nomination must include:

  1. Chair’s nomination letter, which should include a brief summary of teaching evaluation data
  2. Candidate’s CV
  3. List of all courses taught
  4. Letters of support from students (maximum of 5)

All materials in the nomination package should be submitted as a single pdf.

Email submission as a pdf attachment to:

About Deanne Gebell Gitner

Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66, a graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences, and dedicated Cornell volunteer.

Deanne began her career as a teacher of junior high and high school English for several years, before becoming a full-time at-home parent. As her children got older, she became a school textbook representative and a journalist, writing and editing for the Millburn-Short Hills Independent Press. Deanne then held the position of Communications Coordinator for the Millburn (New Jersey) Public School System until her retirement.

Deanne’s family includes her husband, Gerry Gitner, the retired chair and CEO of Trans World Airlines; son Daniel Gitner ’92, a lawyer in New York City who has twice been named the White Collar and Government Investigations Lawyer of the Year; and son Seth Gitner, an Associate Professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he teaches multimedia journalism. 

Cornell had a major influence on Deanne, and she gave her time and talents back to the University freely until her passing in 2021.  She was a life member of Cornell University Council, chairing various committees.  Additionally, she served on the Tower Club Committee, Cornell Club of Northern New Jersey, Cornell Club of Eastern Florida and several reunion campaigns for the Class of 1966.  Her son Dan continues her legacy of involvement as a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.  While working as a staff writer for a weekly newspaper, Deanne shared with her Cornell classmates that she was “doing what I think Cornell prepared me for.”

In recognition of Deanne'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 Deanne's legacy forward to future generations of Cornellians.



  • Elias Beltran, comparative literature
  • Susannah Sharpless, literatures in English
  • Adam Szetela, literatures in English


  • Oona Cullen, literatures in English
  • Julia Nolte, psychology
  • Peter Shipman, literatures in English
  • Cameron Tardiff, history
  • Alice Wolff, medieval studies


  • Lyrianne Gonzalez, history
  • David Mehrle, mathematics
  • Matthieu Real, classics
  • Prairie Wentworth-Nice, mathematics
  • Vivian (Hanwen) Zhang, psychology


  • Daniela Samur, history
  • Peter Shipman, literatures in English
  • Stephanie Tepper, psychology
  • Katherine Zaslavsky, sociology


  • Caitlyn Finton, psychology
  • Kyle Howard, government
  • Ana Sandu, math
  • Bojan Srbinovski, English
  • Jonathan Warner, classics


  • Becky Lu, English
  • Tyler A. Anderson, physics
  • Maru Sarazole, mathematics


  • Jessica Abel, English
  • David Peck, neurobiology and behavior


  • 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