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Nominate a Faculty Mentor

The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards: Celebrating Graduate Mentorship at ASU

Mentoring is one of the central professional development pillars of a graduate education. Strong mentoring is essential to the successful creation of transformative leaders, knowledge mobilizers, master learners and career navigators.

Every year, the Graduate College recognizes outstanding faculty members for their outstanding service to the graduate student and postdoctoral scholar communities through mentoring excellence, commitment to professional development and career advancement and the fostering of inclusive, collaborative academic environments. Active, committed mentors not only offer coaching, modeling and feedback in academic and career development, but provide essential psychosocial and interpersonal connection and support.

Join the Graduate College as we congratulate this year’s awardees in a special virtual ceremony on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 1 p.m  MST.

Register Today!


Nomination Process

The nomination portal for the 2020-2021 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards will open September 1, 2021 and close October 1, 2021. Nominations must come from current ASU graduate students, postdoctoral scholars or alumni; self-nominations are not permitted.


For 2020-2021, faculty members may be nominated in the following categories:

Outstanding Doctoral Mentor. This category recognizes tenured or tenure-track faculty for exemplary doctoral committee service.

Outstanding Master’s Mentor. This category recognizes tenured or tenure-track faculty for exemplary Master’s committee service.

Outstanding Instructional Faculty Mentor. This category recognizes faculty associates, lecturers, clinical faculty and other non-tenure track instructional staff for exemplary graduate student mentoring. 

Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor. This category recognizes all faculty, researchers, and postdoctoral peers for exemplary postdoctoral scholar mentoring.


Awards will be presented to mentors in each of four categories in the form of research or travel funding:

  1. Outstanding Doctoral Mentor ($1,500);

  2. Outstanding Master's Mentor ($1,000);

  3. Outstanding Instructional Faculty Mentor ($800);

  4. Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor ($1500).

In addition to a commemorative medallion, recipients of the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards receive travel/research funding.

Submit questions and nomination materials to


Nominees must be Arizona State University faculty or postdoctoral scholars who have either:

  1. Chaired or served on dissertation or thesis committees for or currently work with at least three (3) ASU graduate students, or
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to graduate student or postdoctoral scholar success through holistic mentoring, commitment to professional development, fostering of inclusive, equitable and collaborative academic environments, or thesis/dissertation committee service.

Previous Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award winners are not eligible for consideration. See a list of awardees and their essays on mentoring.

Evaluation Criteria

Nominees will be evaluated based on each of the following criteria:

  1. mentoring excellence – a demonstrated record of mentoring excellence as indicated by a clear understanding of and evidence of supporting graduate student/postdoctoral scholar academic, professional and psychosocial needs; evidence of support beyond the classroom, lab or office; and strong testimonials from former graduate students/postdoctoral scholars;

  2. fostering of inclusive, collaborative and equitable academic environments – a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity in mentoring as indicated by cultural awareness and sensitivity, recognition and respect for differences in perspective (cultural, racial, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), and openness and transparency in the mentoring/advising process;

  3. commitment to professional developmentand career advancement – a demonstrated commitment to graduate student and postdoctoral scholar professional development and career advancement as indicated by encouraging pursuit of publication, external grant funding or conference presentation, cultivation of a strong professional portfolio, development of network connections, dissemination of knowledge (knowledge mobilization) outside the academy, etc.

Process and Timelines

Review and Faculty Notification

Initial student nomination materials must be received by October 1, 2020 for consideration. In October, finalists will be informed of their status and asked to submit the following:

  1. A 750-1000 word statement on their mentoring philosophy and the importance of mentoring to graduate student and/or postdoctoral scholar success;

  2. Letters of support from three (3) current or former graduate students or postdoctoral  scholars (approximately 150 words apiece);

  3. A letter of support from a supervising chair/department head (approximately 250 words).

  4. Curriculum vitae

These materials must be received by Monday, November 2 for a nomination file to be considered complete.

On Friday, November 6, all complete files will be submitted to a faculty review committee for final review. Nominations will be evaluated on the strengths of the three evaluation criteria.

Awardee Selection

In December, finalists for each category will be identified by the external faculty review committee. 

Final review will be completed by Monday, January 18, with all faculty, nominators and faculty chairs/directors notified of final nomination status within the following week.

All finalists, nominees, nominators, and departments are invited to attend the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards on Monday, February 22 for a special virtual reception.