Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe and the friends and colleagues of Jayanth R. Banavar established the Jayanth R. Banavar Endowed Graduate Award for Excellence in Physics Research in May 2017 to provide merit-based awards for outstanding graduate students in the Department of Physics.
Jayanth Banavar served as dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences from 2011 until his departure in 2017 to become provost and senior vice president at the University of Oregon. Dean Banavar served as Distinguished Professor and George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head of Physics at Pennsylvania State University. A fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has numerous publications in refereed journals, book chapters, a book he co-edited and three patents. To honor his service, Elizabeth Iribe, members of the CMNS Board of Visitors and members of UMD's Board of Trustees created this award to support the kind of interdisciplinary physics research that he studied throughout his career.