Awards for Mentoring Undergraduates

in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities

The Office of the Provost offers awards to recognize the important role mentors play in fostering undergraduates’ intellectual, personal and professional growth through participation in high-impact practices including research, scholarly and creative endeavors. These awards provide faculty members, research groups, academic staff, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students with recognition for their excellence in mentoring undergraduates and their contribution to our students’ Wisconsin Experience.

Awardees will be recognized at the annual Undergraduate Symposium in spring 2021.

Criteria and Requirements

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  • Faculty members, research groups, academic staff, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students are eligible.
  • Nominees should have (or recently have had) responsibility for mentoring at least one undergraduate student or a group of undergraduates
  • Nominees can come from any discipline as long as they mentor undergraduates in a scholarly activity
  • Nominees regularly exhibit several of the actions/characteristics listed below


  • Successfully learn about and integrate needs of the undergraduate scholar into their work
  • Support the undergraduate in their academic success beyond the shared scholarship experience – for example, have meaningful interactions related to professional development, beyond the scope of the student’s project responsibilities, and actively support the undergraduate’s academic and career aspirations
  • Provide access and support in helping the undergraduate present, perform, and/or publish their project in a professional setting
  • Maintain high expectations for undergraduate work and provide the undergraduate with a high level of support
  • View teaching as integral to mentoring
  • Give students autonomy and support in asking and exploring new questions
  • Have a consistent track record of successful outcomes for undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds who worked in the group (presentation at professional conferences, publication, admission to graduate/professional school, etc.)
  • Maintain active and continued mentorship after the students leave the group (e.g., keep in touch and support students as they move through their careers)

Nomination Materials

  • One-page letter from the nominee’s department chair or unit director making or endorsing the nomination and describing the nominee’s approach to mentoring
  • A minimum of one letter of support (maximum of 5 letters) from an undergraduate mentee describing the nominee’s qualities
  • One letter of support from a colleague, supervisor, or outside organization who can speak to the nominee’s mentoring excellence and mentoring philosophy
  • Short CV (1-2 pages) of each mentor

Award Recipients

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2020 Awardees

College of Engineering

  • Wendy Crone, professor, Department of Engineering Physics

College of Letters and Science

  • Helen Blackwell, professor, Department of Chemistry
  • William Gartner, senior lecturer, Department of Geography
  • Elise Hopman, graduate student, Department of Psychology
  • Sarah Stefanos, graduate student, Department of Sociology

2019 Awardees

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

  • Nick Balster, professor, Department of Soil Science

School of Education

  • Haley Vlach, professor, Department of Educational Psychology

College of Engineering

  • Dane Morgan, professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Saswati Bhattacharya, associate scientist, Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care

College of Letters and Science

  • Sarah Bruno, graduate student, Department of Anthropology
  • Katharine Scott, graduate student, Department of Psychology

2018 Awardees

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

  • Michael Cox, professor, Department of Biochemistry
  • Quinn Langdon, graduate student, Department of Genetics

College of Letters & Science

  • Richard Barker, assistant scientist, Department of Botany
  • Keisha Lindsay, professor, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies

Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Tracey Holloway, professor

School of Human Ecology

  • Erica Hess, graduate student, Department of Design Studies

2017 Awardess

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

  • Sarah Botham, faculty associate, Department of Life Sciences Communication

College of Letters & Science

  • Daniel Bradford, research assistant, Department of Psychology
  • Silvia Cavagnero, professor, Department of Chemistry

School of Education

  • Edward Hubbard, professor, Department of Educational Psychology

School of Nursing

  • Maichou Lor, PhD candidate

2016 Awardees

College of Letters & Science

  • Allyson Bennett, professor Department of Psychology
  • Antony Stretton, professor, Department of Zoology
  • Marissa Kraynak, PhD candidate, Department of Zoology
  • Tonya Buckingham, assistant director, UW Cartography Lab, Department of Geography

School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Aditya Rayasam, PhD candidate, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Jack Jiang, professor, Department of Surgery

2015 Awardees

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

  • Autumn Sabo, PhD candidate, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology
  • Walter Goodman, professor, Department of Entomology

College of Engineering

  • Jacob Walsh, PhD candidate, Freshwater and Marine Sciences Program

College of Letters & Science

  • Sara McKinnon, professor, Department of Communication Arts
  • Saverio Spagnolie, professor, Department of Mathematics

School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Dr. Sivan Meethal, Department of Neurological Surgery

Nomination Deadline

Submit applications to Phoua Holt, by Friday, December 11, 2020.


John Zumbrunnen
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning