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CE faculty recognized for outstanding mentoring by graduate students

Dr. Nadia Gkritza was chosen as the first-ever recipient of the CE Outstanding Mentor of Engineering Graduate Students award, an annual award sponsored by the College of Engineering. The goal of the award is to recognize an outstanding faculty member in each school and to share their best practices with young faculty members.

The College of Engineering sponsored the first Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students award, which will be a yearly award. The goal is to recognize an outstanding faculty member in each school and to share their best practices with young faculty members.

The nomination process within civil engineering was led by CEGSAC (the Civil Engineering Graduate Student advisory council). Graduate students collaborated in groups of three or more to submit statements of 1000 words or less, focusing on a single characteristic or action that made the faculty member outstanding. Former students also submitted letters of support. A committee of five students reviewed the applications anonymously and ranked them based on a predetermined grading rubric.

Ten nominations were received for eight different faculty members.  These honorees are:

  • Dr. Darcy Bullock
  • Dr. Nadia Gkritza
  • Dr. Samuel Labi
  • Dr. Venkatesh Merwade
  • Dr. Monica Prezzi
  • Dr. Cary Troy
  • Dr. Satish Ukkusuri
  • Dr. Andrew Whelton

Dr. Nadia Gkritza was chosen as the first-ever recipient of the CE Outstanding Mentor of Engineering Graduate Students award. Her students had to say this about her: “Dr. Nadia Gkritza is being recognized as an exceptional mentor who leaves a long-lasting impression on the students she mentors. Nadia stands out for her supportive, dedicated, and accessible nature, which promotes a safe and trusting environment that fosters students’ personal and professional growth. She is always eager to offer advice and constructive criticism while still respecting the opinions of others.”

Nominees were recognized on April 20, 2016 at an informal reception in Wood Commons, attended by CE graduate students and faculty.

Some quotes from the nominations:

  • "He has successfully crafted an environment where people around him feel like they are part of the family and tackle the challenges of science together as a team."
  • "He cares about his students’ future careers after graduation, and tries to prepare every student to achieve their specific goals."
  • "He was infinitely enthusiastic and nothing enthuses him more than the success of his students."
  • "Some advisors let their students work on their own individual project in relative isolation. With him, all students work, at some level, on all projects."
  • "He has unfailing patience and untiring energy to listen to students very well and with an open mind. Before he provides counsel and advice, he listens to us very carefully and take points (if needed) which shows his seriousness and commitment to guide us to the best. He shows his generosity by making himself available to us all the time and listening to us very attentively."
  • "He is always saying 'My job is to make sure I am here whenever you need me.'"
  • "He spent weekly given time very seriously and diligently. He delivered concise and constructive messages, which usually resulted in the best solution."
  • "He makes us feel that the research we are doing is really our own and he makes us take ownership of our work. He also provides us with a conducive environment that helps us to freely ask questions and share our thoughts and feelings."