Dean Andrew J. Szeri
Photo: Peg Skorpinski

One of my highest priorities is to encourage excellence in mentoring of graduate students — an interest of mine for some time. You can read about the roles and responsibilities of faculty members and students here (PDF), which is a ‘best practices’ document about mentoring. Maybe it’ll be useful to you in thinking about your own approach to and expectations of your mentors. You might even use this document to start a conversation with your adviser about how your interactions might be even more helpful.

Following the adoption of this ‘best practices’ document by the Academic Senate in 2006, Graduate Division sought external support to establish a mentoring award — and that effort has been successful! The 2010 Graduate Mentoring Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2:30-4 p.m. at 775 Tan Hall. The ceremony features presentation of the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Awards as well as the Graduate Assembly’s Distinguished Faculty Mentor Awards. Established in 2007 by a grant from the Sarlo Foundation, the Sarlo awards recognize Berkeley faculty for their vital role in mentoring graduate students and training future faculty. And for the sixth year, the GA’s mentor awards honors Senate and non-Senate members of the Berkeley faculty who have shown outstanding commitments to developing and supporting graduate student researchers in particular.

I hope you’ll be able to join us at these presentations — they truly are uplifting!

Also in April, we will be sending a “prize patrol” (shhh!) to surprise another cluster of recipients individually in undisclosed locations (probably their own classrooms) with the separate Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs, which is presented annually by our own GSI Teaching and Resource Center and the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs. (Winners will be reported in eGrad and, we hope, beyond.)

Great mentoring enables students to achieve their fullest potential. A number of examples of this excellence are highlighted in the latest issue of The Graduate magazine, which you can preview below before picking up a printed issue at your program office. I hope you will find some inspiration in those stories.

Good luck in your research, your writing, your teaching, and your classwork.


Andrew J. Szeri

Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division