Virginia Tech® home

Outstanding Mentor Award

This award recognizes one faculty member from each college 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. Mentoring involves not just successfully directing projects, theses, and dissertations, but also providing guidance and motivation in the context of students’ interests, passions, and personal circumstances.

Suggested Award Criteria

Nominees must be full-time faculty members who have successfully mentored graduate students at the master's or doctoral level. Each college  sets its own guidelines; however, it is recommended that the nomination and evaluation criteria be based on:

  • Nomination should be initiated by a graduate student.
  • Strong commitment to and reputation for facilitating student learning by making complex ideas understandable and meaningful to students.
  • Fostering 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.

Nomination and Notification Procedures

Each college should inform their 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.  For clarity, each college will select a winner for outstanding college mentor using it's own selection process.  The Grad School does not make this selection and the nomination from a program must go first to the college selection committee. It is recommended that graduate students are included in the selection committee.  Notification of the college decision to the Graduate School must include the following:

  • Completed Outstanding Mentor winner notification form
  • A summary of the winner's qualifications for the award (submitted on the survey)
  • Summary of nominations/recommendations from current or former graduate students attesting to the mentoring provided by the nominee (each letter is limited to one page per student, maximum five total). The recommender must provide evidence of how the nominee contributed to the recommender's success and achievements.

Submit nominations through the following survey:

Upload Outstanding Mentor notification form, compiled into a single file with other supporting documents, as a PDF as part of the survey.

Deadline:  February 9, 2024


Additional Information

For more information, please contact 540-231-9561 or email (Type GEW Awards in the subject line.)