Mentorship Excellence Awards

Pat Lenehan and Barbara Mellone
Pat Lenehan ’15 (CLAS) works under the supervision of his faculty mentor, Barbara Mellone, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology.

In recognition of the critically important role that mentors play in supporting undergraduate research and creative activity, the Office of Undergraduate Research offers two annual awards for outstanding mentorship. Each year, a committee of undergraduate students will select one faculty recipient and one graduate student recipient of the Mentorship Excellence Award. Awards will be formally presented in April during the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition.

Outstanding mentors:

  • Develop a holistic view of their mentees through sustained interaction and efforts to understand students’ short-term and long-term goals
  • Challenge students to take the next steps in their research or creative work, including the presentation of that work in appropriate venues
  • Support student inquiry by finding ways to make projects possible
  • Provide constructive feedback that focuses on student learning and enables students to see failures as productive learning opportunities
  • Work transparently, making their thought process accessible to students and modeling how to grapple with research and creative challenges
  • Ensure that students develop an understanding of the field and the broader impact of the work (why) along with relevant knowledge and skills (what, how)
  • Connect students to resources, opportunities, and contacts – on campus and beyond – to further students’ projects, networks, and professional development

Mentorship Excellence Award for Faculty

Eligibility

Nominees must currently hold a faculty position (Assistant/Associate/Full Professor) at the University of Connecticut. Faculty based at the Storrs campus, regional campuses, and UConn Health are eligible for nomination.

Michael Renfro, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Victoria Kallsen '15 (ENG) observe a flame experiment on June 26, 2013.
Michael Renfro, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Victoria Kallsen ’15 (ENGR) observe a flame experiment on June 26, 2013.

Nomination

Only current UConn undergraduate students may submit nominations. A nominator must have worked under the mentorship of the nominee outside of a classroom setting for a minimum of one semester or summer, but need not be working with the nominee at the time of nomination.

The online nomination form for the 2018 awards will open in January 2018. The deadline to nominate a faculty member is March 7, 2018.

Selection

A committee of undergraduate students will review the nominations and select the recipient they consider to best exemplify the characteristics of an outstanding mentor.

Past Honorees

2017: Virginia Hettinger & Morgan Tingley
2016: Dwight Codr & Etan Markus
2015: George Bollas


Mentorship Excellence Award for Graduate Students

Eligibility

Nominees must currently be pursuing a graduate degree (master’s, Ph.D., or professional degree) at the University of Connecticut. Graduate students based at the Storrs campus, regional campuses, professional schools, and UConn Health are eligible for nomination.

Nomination

Only current UConn undergraduate students may submit nominations. A nominator must have worked under the mentorship of the nominee outside of a classroom setting for a minimum of one semester or summer, but need not be working with the nominee at the time of nomination.

The online nomination form for the 2018 award will open in January 2018. The deadline to nominate a graduate student is March 7, 2018.

Selection

A committee of undergraduate students will review the nominations and select the recipient they consider to best exemplify the characteristics of an outstanding mentor.

Past Honorees

2017: Amanda Coletti
2016: Samantha Yohn
2015: Christopher Kelly