Outstanding Graduate School Mentoring Awards | MSUtoday

The Graduate School Mentoring Awards recognize graduate programs, faculty mentors, and graduate students whose practice exemplifies the core values ​​of mentoring relationships between graduate students and faculty, and who make exceptional efforts to uphold the rights and those described in MSU’s graduate student mentoring policies Obligations to fulfill advice.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award for a senior faculty member goes to Ann Ryan, Professor of Psychology. Ryan brings a more than 25-year history of excellence and leadership in improving higher education and mentoring her own graduate students and the wider Michigan State University community.

Because of these efforts, Ryan has been recognized over the years for her mentoring and teaching activities, including as a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 2018 Raymond Fowler Award, presented to one of more than 100,000 members for their outstanding contributions to the professional development of students. One of her students said that despite being a world-class student, Ryan “talks to her students like she’s learning from us.” Their past and present mentees feel “a deep sense of kinship”: When they meet, they “often talk about growing up with their ideals of doing rigorous science, leading with integrity and ethics, and championing values ​​like excellence and inclusion.” As pointed out in Ryan’s nomination package, perhaps one of her most notable achievements in mentoring and professional development of graduate students has been her demonstrated commitment to inclusive mentoring, an area in which she has also been recognized by national research awards.

As a result of these efforts, the diverse group of PhD students she has mentored have grown into successful professionals in numerous career paths, including leadership positions in top companies and leading recruitment organizations. Ryan’s contributions to shaping her field were also recognized by receiving the Society for Human Resource Management’s Michael R. Losey Excellence in Research Award (2021), which recognizes lifetime achievements in human resource research and recognizes significant past and ongoing research contributions that have an impact on human resource management.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

head shot by Dr.  Mary LopezThe Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award for a junior faculty member goes to Maria Lopez, Professor of Community Sustainability. Fourteen current and former graduate students wrote Lopez’s nomination letter, explaining how she “broadened our view of the world and further validated our desire to become researchers and development practitioners seeking sustainable solutions for local communities.” Challenges.”

They describe how she helps them set goals at the beginning of each semester and creates a supportive environment in which students act as a collaborative group to ensure everyone achieves their goals. Through this “purposefully created … multi-generational cohort of students,” Lopez helps model important professional skills (critical thinking, peer review, giving and receiving supportive feedback) and forms of co-mentoring. Many of her students report that they wrote a manuscript with her support as first author and co-authored publications with her during their graduate school. She has worked with her students to write successful grant proposals to fund their multidisciplinary research projects.

Lopez has helped fund her students to attend career-building workshops. She connects them to their own nationally networked research projects so they can build their professional connections outside of their immediate area of ​​expertise to further their own multidisciplinary research. Having had few teaching opportunities within the graduate program, Lopez has worked to find teaching experiences for her students and to encourage their participation in intensive university-wide programs (e.g. FAST) to develop their teaching skills. When her students do field research, she works with them in advance to match them with a knowledgeable local partner, makes sure they have the tools and resources they need before they go, and stops by regularly while they go are on hand to ensure their well-being and to help them with research questions: “She encourages us and trusts in our research abilities.” Lopez mentores many international students and helps them navigate MSU processes and procedures. As current and alumni students sum it up, when they become their mentees, they know that “Dr. Lopez is a mentor for life.”

Mentor award for outstanding PhD students

Erica Dalzell is in the School of Criminal Justice. She received this award for her work in supporting and mentoring students, fellow graduate students, community partners and faculty as they work around the Juvenile Risk Assessment Team, a data management partnership between Michigan State University and the Juvenile Division of Ingham County 30th Circuit Court.

Dalzell has served her peers as an executive in the School of Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association, where she advocated for improvements in professional development courses and support for the quality of life of graduate students. She was also chosen to serve on the School of Criminal Justice Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Justice and the Search Committee for a new principal for the school. Her mentoring legacy is perhaps most extraordinary when you examine the impact she has had on undergraduate students. Many of the students who join the JRAT community may only expect data entry, but are instead mentored by Dalzell through all facets of a research project: identifying a testable hypothesis, developing appropriate research methods, applying for funding to support the work, writing results for publication and dissemination and to put the research into practice. These students then present their work at national conferences, the university’s Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, and for research partners in the Ingham County 30th Circuit Court Family Division.

Dalzell mentors her undergraduate team in professional standards and preparation, from public speaking to interviews, so each can find the career path that best suits their goals. Of Erica’s 17 mentees, 15 have received scholarships, and most have completed graduate programs or applied youth justice work. Under her mentorship, all of these students have made important contributions to juvenile justice literature and made a tangible difference in the lives of systemically involved youth in Ingham County.

Mentor award for outstanding PhD students

Headshot by Azam Ali SherAzam Ali Sher, a veterinarian by training originally from Pakistan, first came to MSU as a Fulbright Scholar and then returned to campus to pursue a master’s degree in epidemiology. He is now working towards a Ph.D. in comparative medicine and integrative biology and environmental toxicology.

This diverse academic background and international perspective make him an effective mentor to students who come from a variety of backgrounds and academic traditions, including MSU undergraduate researchers, participants in the Summer Research Opportunity Program, and his graduate school peers. He works with these students to train them in various laboratory techniques, but also in designing research studies, speaking and presenting skills, and exploring career opportunities. His colleagues have presented and won awards at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, Mid-SURE, and the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Professional Conferences.

His nominators highlighted what makes him such a valuable mentor: an infectious passion for science and research, a spirit of service and interpersonal connections to help people find a path toward their goals, and valuable teaching skills that go with it help build trust in those with whom he works. He has consistently been praised for his excellent communication skills, which help his students and mentees feel included, supported and confident. Sher has shown support for her scientific advancement and research creativity. Concerned about the physical and mental health and academic success of his students, he also supports the students with insightful careers advice. Several undergraduate researchers supported him in receiving this award and highlighted his essential role in helping them identify great graduate programs that align with their goals and helping them set a foundation for success.

Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award

The Master of Arts Educational Technology Program was selected as a recipient of the 2022 Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award. The program has outlined core principles (e.g., support from application through beyond graduation, valuing diversity of resources, perspectives, and communities, and fostering growth as curious learners and transformational leaders) that are clearly aligned with MSU’s core values ​​for mentoring of graduate students and faculty match relationships. They also align with the MSU values ​​of collaboration, equity, excellence, integrity and respect.

The program has thoughtfully and intentionally designed both processes and interactions to focus on student success and empower students to meet their individual career and professional development needs. Testimonials from current students describe the various ways the program provides professional development opportunities that are responsive not only to individual students but also to the local communities in which they work: In the words of one student, “From the moment I as my journey began, I could sense that I was entering something bigger than a college program.” A graduate of the program confirmed this experience and spoke about the educational support she continues to receive from the program’s trainers, even after moving to different professional environments. Another graduate, describing the leadership of the graduate community in the program, remarked that “it looks and feels” like one “integrated into a positive work culture” based on “a passionate dedication to the values ​​of open communication, integrity and the personal and personal.” Engagements builds professional development.” All current and former student testimonials demonstrate that the program is living up to its stated values, and they attribute both their professional success and personal growth and development to their time at MAET.

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