UOG announces Graduate Awards winners

UOG announces Graduate Awards winners

UOG announces Graduate Awards winners


The Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Guam announces the winners of its 2021 Graduate Awards, an annual competition that recognizes excellence, innovation, and impact within the university’s master’s degree programs. Each year, the university’s graduate programs nominate students, faculty members, and research projects that exemplify excellence at the graduate level. Winners are selected by the president and senior vice president & provost based on recommendations and evaluations from a selection committee.

The winners of the 2021 Graduate Awards are as follows:

Master of Education in Secondary Education Cohort 7:

Innovative Research Award

Master of Education in Secondary Education Cohort 7
“The Impacts of COVID-19 on Teaching and Learning: Coping through Critical Reflective Practices”

The cohort’s research addresses the importance of guided reflective practice to support mental health and refine professional perspective and practice. The cohort presented an innovative transition in research design to address the need for emotional support while adhering to the expectation of rigor and value in graduate research.

(From left) Aira Millanes, Chellette San Nicolas, Jonnavie Abaya, and Tara Tydingco.  

Master of Public Administration Spring Cohort 2021

Community Impact Award

Master of Public Administration (MPA) Spring Cohort 2021, Guam Green Growth Commitment (G3C) Badge System

The cohort partnered with the Center for Island Sustainability and Guam Green Growth Conservation Corps to offer the 19 municipalities of Guam the opportunity to be early adapters of G3C Badge System, a program developed to create transformative action and implement the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. This strategic partnership was a grassroots effort that focused on reaching the very heart of the island community – its villages. This project showcased collaboration on an island-wide scale and served as an exemplar of bringing theory to life with implementation and action.


(From left) Lisanne Arca, Christina Dela Cruz, Gabrielle Angoco, Jaylene San Nicolas, Chelsea Resurreccion, Christine Fejeran, Emilyn Santos, John Cayton, Shaun Hosei, Athena McNinch, Elliot Untalan, Jason Pangelinan, and Nena Waguk. Not pictured: Ismael Aguon.  


Catherine Stoicovy

Career Excellence in Graduate Studies Award

Catherine Stoicovy, Professor of Reading, School of Education

Stoicovy has had great success in developing online graduate programs. She created the online Master of Education in Reading program, which has attained high enrollment and completion rates. As the program’s chairperson, she teaches, advises, and mentors students. Stoicovy also developed a seminar course for students to apply their skills in practice. She has served on numerous committees for the School of Education and is currently a faculty consultant for a proposed online Ed.D. program.

Geraldine James

Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award

Geraldine James, Assistant Professor of Foundations and Educational Research, School of Education

James teaches several graduate courses at the university and is known among her students for her rigor, flexibility, and support. She has chaired 26 thesis projects and has immersed herself in volunteer work. James serves in several central leadership positions at the university. In addition to being the chair of the graduate committee and a member of the accreditation writing team for the School of Education, James is also a member of UOG’s Graduate Council.

Jean Santos

Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Jean Santos, Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Santos served as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the university. She contributed to two manuscripts that were submitted to peer-review journals and presented at several local and international conferences. Santos is the president of the university’s Psi Chi Chapter. As president, she led recruitment efforts and encouraged members to participate in a campaign aimed to support the student body’s physical and mental health. Her research project focuses on mental health problems among Guam immigrants.

Mylast Bilimon

Presidential Thesis Award

Mylast Bilimon, Master of Arts in Micronesian Studies
“Traditional Postpartum Practices in the Marshall Islands: Inquiries Into Stigma Against Non-Participating Women”

Bilimon traveled to her community in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, to collect and analyze first-hand data from Marshallese women’s perspectives. Her thesis project explored the problems, needs, and solutions to maternal health and the significance of the traditional postpartum practice of kakurae. One of the main objectives of her work is to encourage community engagement and the utilization of the thesis to initiate cultural understanding and social change.


The Outstanding Graduate and Presidential Thesis award winners receive a $250 prize. All four nominations of the Presidential Thesis Award will have their research papers uploaded to ProQuest, the world’s most extensive thesis and dissertations database.