This award recognizes mentoring in the context of undergraduate scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching, and is intended to complement the Teaching Assistant awards offered within some graduate programs. Such mentoring outside the classroom might include, among other examples, graduate students who mentor undergraduates in the context of undergraduate students' senior theses, honors theses, writing projects, term papers, or research in a laboratory, field site, museum, archive, or campus project. Previous award recipients have been recognized for their vital contributions to undergraduate scholarship and research at William & Mary.
In the spring of 2009, the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board (GSAB) and the A&S Committee on Graduate Studies voted unanimously in support of the GSAB's concept for initiating and funding annual awards to A&S graduate students in recognition of outstanding undergraduate mentoring in scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching. In the spring of 2012, the the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board unanimously changed the name of the S. Laurie Sanderson Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring to honor Dean Sanderson's invaluable contribution to A&S graduate studies as Dean from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2012.
Guidelines and an online nomination form are available for undergraduate students and faculty, who are invited to nominate current graduate students. The awards are presented at the annual Research Symposium, drawing more undergraduate students and faculty to the symposium and luncheon and increasing visibility for the important contributions of graduate students in mentoring undergraduate students in scholarship and research.
Up to four awards of $250 each will be granted annually to be distributed between the following categories in A&S: the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences (American Studies, Anthropology, History, Public Policy); and the Natural, Computational, and Psychological Sciences (Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computational Operations Research, Physics, Psychological Sciences). The number of awards to be distributed per category may vary year-to-year based on the number and quality of nominations.