Outstanding students and exceptional mentors to be honored at Graduate School ceremony

The Graduate School will celebrate Commencement with music, formal ceremonies, and receptions on May 20 and 21.

Grad School shield

Dean Thomas Pollard will preside over the annual Commencement Convocation on Sunday, May 20, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Graduate Studies courtyard.

Students will be honored for outstanding academic achievement, research, and service, and three faculty members will receive the Graduate School’s Mentor Award. It is the University’s principal award for superb teaching, advising and mentoring of graduate students and signals the commitment of the University and the Graduate School to effective and empathetic student guidance.

This year’s winners are Katie Trumpener, the Emily Sanford Professor of Comparative Literature & English; William Wright Kelly, the Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies and professor of Anthropology; and Hemant Tagare, associate professor of electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and diagnostic radiology. Each will speak at the Convocation.

The Graduate Mentor Award recognizes teachers and advisers who have been exceptional in their support of the professional, scholarly, and personal development of their students. It is the Graduate School’s signal award honoring dissertation advisers in all graduate programs.

Awards are given in each of the three academic areas — humanities, social sciences, and sciences — based on anonymous nominations from students. Here’s what some of the students said, in their letters of nomination:

One student wrote in a letter recommending Trumpener for the honor, “I have met no other professor, who invests as much time and energy in their students, who is as inspiring and selfless as Katie. Katie represents to me everything that is most valuable in academia and everything that I aspire to be both professionally and, more importantly, as a person.”

In nominating Kelly, one advisee said, “His tireless guidance and continuous encouragement, not only while writing the dissertation as well as throughout my doctoral career, are outstanding. His commitment to teaching and learning, attention to detail, and his respect for knowledge have greatly shaped my own work and way of thinking.”

The letters putting Tagare’s name in nomination for the Graduate Mentor Award were also rich in praise. According to one letter, “Hemant was more than my adviser. He took an interest in my professional development, extracurricular activities, and personal life. He worked around my other obligations when I became involved in the GSA [Graduate Student Assembly], and he always encouraged my involvement as a teaching fellow. Additionally, he was incredibly helpful in my job search and in making my final decision.”

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