Graduate Faculty Mentoring Award

Award Description

There is broad consensus that mentoring is key to graduate student success. This award recognizes faculty adept within the broad spectrum of activities that makes up graduate mentoring. Exemplary graduate mentoring supports the advancement of students as scholars, teachers, and professionals, and requires significant time and skill.

The following list (based on a model from the Duke University Graduate School) describes aspects of mentoring frequently associated with exemplary graduate mentors.

Mentors who support the advancement of students as Scholars:
  • Provide intellectual guidance and ensure rigor within research projects;
  • Ensure students gain deep understanding of the field of study, including research methods and (inter)disciplinary trends;
  • Provide appropriate guidelines and expectations, and assist students in developing skills to pursue/achieve research goals within appropriate timetables;
  • Evaluate student progress and coach academic performance in a timely and constructive fashion.
Mentors who support the advancement of students as Teachers:
  • Encourage students to develop a broad range of teaching, communication, and professional skills;
  • Provide opportunities for skills development related to lecturing, classroom communication, grading/assessment, and course development.
Mentors who support the advancement of students’ Professional Development:
  • Serve as informed advisors regarding career development and the job market;
  • Offer guidance and encouragement regarding participation in scholarly activities, including conference presentations, publications, professional networking, and grant writing;
  • Model impartial, fair, professional dealings with students and colleagues, and foster an ethos of collegiality and professionalism.

This award, which carries $2,000, is made possible through partnership and support from the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board, the Provost, the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate and Professional Studies, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The Graduate Student Association was instrumental in initiating this award.

Award Eligibility:

Any faculty member who directly mentors graduate students in A&S is eligible to be nominated.

Nomination Process:

Any graduate student in A&S can nominate a member of the faculty who routinely directs graduate research and/or serves as an exemplary mentor in capacities beyond directing thesis and dissertation research. Complete nominations are due February 1.

Nomination Materials:
  • Signed nomination form.
  • At least two letters of support from A&S graduate students or recent alumni (past 2 years) who have benefited from mentoring by the nominated faculty member.
    • More than two letters from individual students/recent alumni will enhance the nomination package. Individual letters will carry greater weight than a single letter signed by multiple students.
    • Letters should offer specific examples of exceptional mentoring and the impact of that mentoring on the student.
  • At least one letter from the nominated faculty member’s chair or program director in support of the nomination and containing specific examples of exemplary mentoring by the nominee. If the nominated faculty member is the chair or program director, then a letter should be supplied instead by the director of graduate studies.
Review Process:

All nomination materials should be submitted by email to the Director of the Graduate Center, [[sgglos, Sarah Glosson]], by the nominating student as a single PDF by 5 p.m. on the due date, February 1. Members of the Graduate Student Association will review all nominations. The GSA will recommend no more than three unranked nominations to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for final review and selection.

The award carries $2,000, with the funds applied as either research support for the following year or as a cash award. The award will be presented by the President of the GSA at the April Faculty of Arts & Sciences Meeting, the final meeting of the academic year.

Questions, inquiries, and nominations should be directed to [[sgglos, Sarah Glosson]], Director, A&S Graduate Center.