In 2013, the School established the Michael E. Martinez Prize for Outstanding Research and Service. This annual award commemorates the scholarly and professional achievements of the late Michael E. Martinez, Professor of Education at the University of California, Irvine, from 1992 through 2012. As a scholar, Professor Martinez is remembered for his significant contributions to our understandings of cognitive processes and the malleability of intelligence, and how these understandings could be applied to student learning. He is also remembered for the kindness and collegiality that he embodied. In his honor, this award is given to a doctoral student who demonstrates superior scholarship, intellectual curiosity, and high levels of professionalism, service and collaboration with fellow students and/or faculty.
This year’s Michael E. Martinez Prize for Outstanding Educational Research and Service goes to PhD student Priyanka Agarwal.
As noted by her nominators, Priyanka’s approach to scholarly work exemplifies the intellectual curiosity that Mike Martinez brought to his work. She is a thoughtful scholar who engages deeply with fundamental questions that are at the core of issues of teaching and learning and equitable opportunities for all. She is very resourceful in her efforts to develop multifaceted understanding of educational issues. Collegiality is one of Priyanka’s best qualities. She has been involved in the PhD recruitment committee, served as a student representative on the admission committee, and served as a peer mentor for a fellow graduate student. She also has assisted with gathering information for the UCOP-HBCU summer internship proposal and is involved in the mathematics circles through the UCI math department that engage under-served students in rigorous and challenging problem solving. Priyanka is always an active participant in class discussions and in research group meetings where she kindly challenges participants’ ideas and engages deeply with colleagues’ work.” For these reasons, we are honored to award you the Martinez Prize award.
Mrs. Stephanie Martinez, Priyanka Agarwal, Dean Richard Arum