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Student Mentorship Award

The Student Mentorship Award was developed to recognize faculty who go above and beyond what is expected of individuals mentoring students whether they be involved with undergraduate students, graduate students, or both. Two winners will be selected each year. 

Selection criteria

Individuals nominated for this award should show a sustained record of mentoring and advising research and creative endeavors of students with significant outcomes from those students. Mentors should show evidence of fostering the intellectual, creative, and professional growth of students while inculcating the students in a culture of intellectual challenge and success. Particular emphasis will be given to mentoring while at CMU. The selection committee will be comprised of one member from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, one member from the Office of Graduate Studies, and the previous year’s winners.

Source of nominations

Nominations may be submitted by deans, directors, department/program heads, committees, or individual faculty members or former students. Current CMU students and CMU post-docs are not allowed to nominate faculty.

Deadline and notification

The nomination deadline is the first Monday in January after the holiday break, with winners notified the Monday after Spring Break.

Submit your Nominating Letter to Amy at by the end of day on January 8, 2024.

Guidelines for preparing nominations

To nominate a faculty member, submit a signed letter (2 pages maximum), as one PDF, via email to Amy Courter at with the following information:

  1. Who is being nominated, including their department (bold font)
  2. A justification explaining why the individual should be selected for the award (see Justification information below)
  3. Your department and contact information, in case the selection committee has questions

Justification - The diversity of scholarly activities at CMU means that individuals evaluating the applications are unlikely to be familiar with the nuances of each discipline. Thus, nomination letters should describe the nominee’s outstanding aspects and the significance of mentorship in a fashion understandable by a general audience paying particular attention to why the nominee’s contributions to mentorship are exceptional and deserving of this honor. Examples to include are mentoring style, success in getting mentees into desired career paths, and how the nominee mentors the professional development of their students.

Letters of Support - Up to two letters of support for the nominee may be included. Current students and post-docs are not allowed to submit letters of support.

Curriculum Vitae - The nominee’s CV, including the number and type of students mentored, will be generated from Faculty Success.

Student Mentorship Award recipients 

Lana Ivanitskaya - Industrial and Organizational Psychology 
David A. Kinney - Politics, Society, Justice & Public Service

Lissa M. Schwander - Social Work 
Benjamin M. Swarts - Chemistry & Biochemistry