Four senior NC State University faculty members were recognized this week by the Graduate School for being outstanding mentors for graduate students. The 2015 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Awards were presented Wednesday, along with recognition of outstanding students during the Celebration of Graduate Student Success.
This is the first year the mentoring awards have been given, and this year’s recipients were named in two disciplines: Biological and Life Sciences; and Social Sciences, Business and Education. Next year, the Graduate School will call for mentoring award nominees in the categories of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering; and Humanities and Design. All honorees received $500, a plaque and membership in NC State’s new Academy of Outstanding Mentors.
In addition, the Graduate School recognized about 350 graduate students who completed professional development programs or who have received fellowships for graduate study at NC State. Read names of all student honorees here.
The faculty recognized for mentoring in Biological and Life Sciences were: Dr. Alan E. Tonelli, INVISTA Professor of Fiber and Polymer Chemistry, College of Textiles; and Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Food Science. Those recognized in Social Sciences, Business and Education include Dr. James Bartlett, associate professor of leadership, policy, and adult and higher education and director of the Charlotte adult and community college doctoral cohort, College of Education; and Dr. Gail Jones, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of STEM Education, also College of Education.
Doctoral student Doreen McVeigh, a deep-sea marine scientist, was the student speaker for the event. She shared her thoughts on, “the exceptional opportunities for research and the remarkable strength of the academic community at NC State.”
McVeigh challenged students to develop connections with key scholars because, “they are the beginning of collaborations that will launch an early scientist’s careers.” She also encouraged students to “share the insights you have gained as the new generation of experts” and to celebrate their “personal drive and the support of outstanding faculty.”
Dr. Alan Tonelli, an internationally recognized polymer scientist, has been a member of the textiles faculty since 1991. Tonelli was nominated by a group of seven graduate students and graduate alumni who have worked with him.
In support of Tonelli’s award, Dr. W. Oxenham, associate dean for academic programs in the College of Textiles, said that Tonelli’s major contributions in the area of graduate education include: graduate student supervision, research publications, grant-writing success to support his research, and course and instruction development. “Dr. Tonelli is unusual in that he starts encouraging students to ‘think Ph.D.’ at a very early stage in their academic career. He is one of few faculty who can lay claim to have published in refereed journals with high school students as co-authors,” Oxenham said.
Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, whose research focus is on microbial food safety, has been on the faculty in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences since 1994. She was nominated for the mentoring award by a group of six graduate students who have worked with her.
In their nomination, the students said, “Dr. Jaykus furnishes her students with every opportunity to succeed. She supports and promotes their research, offering ample opportunities to attend conferences, present research and publish manuscripts. … She worked in both academic and industry settings, and leverages those experiences into meaningful and realistic feedback on career goals and expectations.”
Dr. James Bartlett, who teaches students in Charlotte’s cohort of NC State’s doctoral program in adult and community college education, was nominated by nine graduate students and colleagues. His research involves the areas of faculty preparation, development, work, productivity and rewards; human resource development/management issues in higher education; and higher and human resource education issues in China.
“Evidence of Dr. Bartlett’s mentoring can be seen in his efforts to collaborate and disseminate research with his doctoral students, the mentoring of students through the dissertation process, and the outcomes of the students he mentors,” said Dr. Lance Fusarelli, interim department head, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development, in recommending Bartlett for the award.
Dr. Gail Jones came to NC State in 1988 as director of teacher education and program officer in 1988. After faculty positions at other universities, she returned to NC State in 2003 as professor of science education. Her research focuses on learning science in a variety of sociocultural contexts, examining how a number of subgroups learn, including genders, minorities and students with visual impairments.
Jones was nominated for the mentoring award by six graduate students and colleagues. “Dr. Jones gives tirelessly of her time and energy to help her students meet their professional goals and to grow personally and professionally. She is readily available to support and assist them, and she actively works to network her students with national and international researchers,” said Dr. Kathy Trundle, department head for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Department.
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