Mentoring Awards

2021 Outstanding Mentoring Awards

Deadline: April 30, 2021

The Graduate School recognizes the critical role that inclusive, high-quality mentoring plays in MSU’s research and educational missions. The Graduate School Mentoring Awards help to recognize graduate programs, faculty mentors and doctoral students whose practice exemplifies the Foundational Values for Graduate Student and Faculty Mentoring Relationships and who make exceptional efforts to sustain the rights and fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the MSU Guidelines for Graduate Student Mentoring and Advising.

There are 3 separate award categories:

Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award, recognizing a graduate program/department that fosters the Foundational Values and proactively works to meet their students’ educational and extended professional development needs.  $5000 award in 2021-22 to support graduate program activities.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, recognizing faculty whose work with graduate students exemplifies the Foundational Values through ensuring that their students meet program expectations and milestones, and providing multiple enriched career and professional development opportunities  Two awards are available, one for an assistant /early associate professor (2-3 years in associate rank) and one for more senior associate and full professors.  $1500 awards in 2021-22 to support mentoring activities.

Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor Award, recognizing a doctoral student who has already demonstrated the capacity to be a strong mentor of undergraduate or graduate students.  $1000 fellowship award for spring or summer 2021.

Nomination Process

Nominations must be received by April 30, 2021.  Nominations for these awards must have 3 supporting documents. The primary nominator/s must ensure that the packet is complete before submitting it to the Graduate School. Nominating letters can come from current or former MSU graduate students, undergraduate students (in the case of the Doctoral Student Mentor Award), faculty members, or administrators.

  1. Each award requires a primary nominating letter. This letter can come from an individual or a group of individuals. The nominating letter should clearly articulate a) how the program or individual fits the criteria for the award, b) what activities best exemplify the program or individual contribution, and c) what the impact those activities have had for the success of students.
  2. Each award also requires a second letter of support that can speak to the fit with the criteria and describe the contributions to mentoring. If the primary nominating letter is provided by students, the support letter should be from faculty or administrators familiar with the nominee’s mentoring activities; if the primary nominating letter is provided by faculty or administrators, the letter of support should be from students.
  3. For nominations for the individual awards: a CV for the nominee is required. For program nominations: the current Graduate Handbook should be submitted as a PDF (if no online version exists) or a link must be provided to an updated handbook. Handbooks must be current (i.e., updated within the last academic year).

The packet should be submitted via e-mail to:  The e-mail subject line must clearly identify the name of the award for which the nomination is made, and the body of the e-mail must identify the individual or program being nominated.

Selection Process

The Graduate School will convene a selection committee with representation from the following groups: college graduate associate deans, graduate program directors, Graduate School associate deans, COGS representatives. The committee will evaluate the nominations and make a recommendation to the Dean, who will make the awards.

Recipients will be announced in May.  For questions, please contact Judith Stoddart, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School (

Winners of the Graduate School Mentoring Awards