Doctoral student Sid Roy and Professor Marc Edwards chat before a press conference for the Flint Water Study Team.

This award aims to recognize one faculty member from each college at Virginia Tech for their role in supporting, encouraging, and promoting a positive and inclusive scholarly and teaching environment, and for contributing to professional and personal development of graduate students within or outside their research or degree programs. Mentoring involves more than directing projects, theses, and dissertations. It entails providing guidance and motivation in the context of students’ interests, passions, and personal circumstances.

Although the award is not restricted to chairs of graduate student advisory committees, the nominee must be a full-time faculty member who has successfully mentored graduate students at the master's or doctoral level. Each college can set its own guidelines. Yet, it is recommended that the nomination and evaluation criteria be based on:

  • Strong commitment and reputation for facilitating student learning by making complex ideas understandable and meaningful to students.
  • Establishment and maintenance of high and inclusive academic standards in the classroom, research laboratory, performance setting, and beyond.
  • Positive role modeling as a professional with deep personal integrity, high ethical standards, a solid commitment to inclusion and diversity, and achievable standards for personal excellence.
  • Consistent and ongoing guidance of students regarding resources within and outside the university, conflict resolution, and support for completion of the program of study in a timely manner.
  • Substantial influence on the academic and professional pursuits of students that may include support for or co-authorship/co-production of funded research, publications, creative performances and products, and presentations at national or international conferences or performance venues.
  • Evidence of sustained and active mentoring of students over time including professional productivity of students as reflected in their record of scholarly or professional accomplishments.

Each college should inform departments of its timeline to allow sufficient time for departments to submit nominations to the college for review and selection of the award’s recipient. It is recommended that graduate students are included in the selection committee. Each college must submit the name of its recipient and the following supporting documents to the Graduate School at by January 29, 2018.

  • A nomination letter by a current or former graduate student
  • A summary (2-page maximum) of the nominee's qualifications for the award.
  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae of the nominee (8-page maximum).
  • Three letters of recommendation (each letter is limited to 2 pages) from current or former graduate students attesting to the mentoring provided by the nominee. The recommender must provide evidence of how the nominee contributed to the recommender's success and achievements.
  • Two letters of support from departmental colleagues (each letter is limited to 2 pages).

For more information, please contact Please mention this award in the subject line.

Outstanding Mentor Notification Form