Three faculty honored for mentoring student scholarly projects

Three University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty were honored for their skill and dedication in mentoring student scholarly projects as part of the recent Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA). A total of 86 faculty were nominated by students and alumni for these new mentoring awards, which will be given annually.

"The pedagogy of mentoring requires a varied skill set that includes development of appropriate projects, student recruitment and initiation into the methods of the discipline, and the right mixture of support and challenge to help the student develop autonomy," said Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. "Skilled mentors intentionally individualize their approach depending on student strengths and challenges."

The Emerging Mentor in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award highlights mentors who have been at UW-Eau Claire no more than five years. The following faculty members were honored with this award:

Saori Braun Dr. Saori Braun, assistant professor of kinesiology, is in her second year at UW-Eau Claire. Student nominators described her as an inspirational mentor who provides just the right balance of support and independence to the many students she has already worked with.

Bart Dahl Dr. Bart Dahl, assistant professor of chemistry, is in his fifth year at UW-Eau Claire. Nomination materials described him as having the perfect combination of professionalism and warmth, and providing strong support for professional development and networking, even after graduation.

The Excellence in Mentoring Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award is the premier campus award for a more seasoned mentor. The following faculty member was honored with this award:

James PhillipsDr. James Phillips, professor of chemistry, has mentored 30 students and had 36 student co-authors on peer-reviewed papers since coming to UW-Eau Claire in 1998. Two facets of his work were particularly cited by the reviewers: his focus on intensive development of student writing and his willingness to provide opportunities to a broader range of students by reaching out to those who appear to be less academically prepared or successful.

"It has been a long-term goal of the Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration to provide awards for top research mentors," Havholm said. "We have so many accomplished mentors that selection becomes challenging."

Selection of the awardees began with nominations by students and alumni. Finalists then submitted materials, including a philosophy of mentoring and evidence of mentored student outcomes, which were evaluated by a faculty award committee. Criteria were developed by faculty and students based on published best practices and personal experience.

For more information about the awards, see links on the ORSP mentoring Web page.