The Great Supervisor Awards

It's often been said that you don't so much "get" a PhD as you "become" one. The process of becoming requires mentorship, not just…

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It's often been said that you don't so much "get" a PhD as you "become" one. The process of becoming requires mentorship, not just supervision. I've come to see a good mentoring relationship as just that: a relationship. It ebbs and flows and responds to changing circumstances according to an almost magical balance of blatant requests, intuitive hunches, and experience-based good guesses - all against a backdrop of professionalism defined by timely and honest responses to student work, conscientious attention to the administrative obligations of a supervisor, an open and evolving orientation not just to the work itself, but to the career that will follow, and always keeping students' needs and status in mind.

It took me a while to figure this out in my career. When I was a new assistant professor, I structured my relationships with graduate students around a social contract. "How do you like to work?," I would ask. "Do you need me to set deadlines and get in touch, or are you comfortable working on your own?" This is a decent approach to supervision, but it falls short of mentorship. This approach presumes a stable self-knowledge that simply doesn't hold under the pressures of graduate education; in addition, my students' needs would change as they progressed through their degrees.

One of my aspirations as the Dean of FGSR is to help people develop their approach to supervision and mentoring faster, by providing best practices and good role models. The "Great Supervisors" named here are amazingly good role models. They come from all over our campuses, and they have different approaches to supervision and mentoring, but what holds these wonderful colleagues together is that they are in it for the knowledge and they are in it for the students - both for today, and for who they will become.

~ Heather Zwicker - Vice-Provost and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

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  • Arno De Klerk, Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Arto Ohinmaa, School of Public Health
  • Biao Huang, Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Claudia Eppert, Secondary Education
  • Daniel Fried, East Asian Studies
  • David Nobes, Mechanical Engineering
  • Dean Eurich, School of Public Health
  • Doug Gross, Physical Therapy
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  • Eleni Stroulia, Computing Science
  • Geoffrey Rockwell, Humanities Computing
  • Gerald Haeubl, Marketing, Business Economics and Law
  • Gordon Walker, Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
  • Heather Coleman, History and Classics
  • Jacqueline Cummine, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Juhani Järvikivi, Linguistics
  • Juliana Leung, Civil and Environmental Engineering
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  • Julie Rak, English and Film Studies
  • Linglong Kong, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
  • Megan Strickfaden, Human Ecology
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  • Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
  • Osmar Zaiane, Computing Science
  • Patricia (Trish) Reay, Strategic Management and Organization
  • Randolph Wimmer, Educational Policy Studies
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  • Reinhard Vehring, Mechanical Engineering
  • Rob McMahon, Faculty of Extension
  • Samer Adeeb, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Sandra Garvie-Lok, Anthropology
  • Sandra Wiebe, Psychology
  • Selina Stewart, History and Classics
  • Shanon Phelan, Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Stefano Muneroni, Drama
  • Suzette Brémault-Phillips, Occupational Therapy
  • Vakhtang Putkaradze, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences'
  • Willi Braun, Religious Studies