Mentoring Awards

To recognize and ​encourage the efforts of graduate students who serve as effective mentors, the Graduate Division of UC Santa Barbara presents two awards for students who have distinguished themselves in the area of undergraduate research supervision: the Fiona and Michael Goodchild Graduate Mentoring Award and the Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award.

The purpose of these awards is threefold:

  • To recognize graduate students who have distinguished themselves as mentors of undergraduates;
  • To acknowledge campus initiatives to improve the educational experience of undergraduates and graduate students by integrating research into undergraduate education at UCSB;
  • To encourage others to become involved in these research efforts.

These awards are important examples of the Graduate Division’s ongoing efforts to promote a culture of mentoring.

Three recipients of the Fiona and Michael Goodchild Graduate Mentoring Award and three recipients of the Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award will receive $1000 each (six awards in all). Previous recipients of the award are not eligible. Selections are made by the Academic Senate Graduate Council.

The 2019 award cycle is now closed. Nominations for the 2020 award cycle will be announced in Winter 2020. Please note the following important updates about the Graduate Division Mentoring Award nomination process:

Beginning ​with the 2020 award cycle, departments may nominate a maximum of two (2) graduate students per year to be considered for the mentoring award. Departments should internally coordinate their selections, and nominations must be submitted by the department chair or faculty graduate program advisor. Further instructions on this process will be distributed when the award cycle reopens. For programs and institutes not housed in academic departments but who wish to nominate a student, please coordinate your recommendations through the student's home department. If you have any questions, please contact Shawn Warner.


The Fiona and Michael Goodchild Graduate Mentoring Award is available to students in the College of Engineering; Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences Division of the College of Letters and Science; and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. The Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award is available to students in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences Divisions of the College of Letters and Science and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Both awards are open to currently enrolled graduate students in good academic standing who mentor at least one undergraduate. Nominees must be registered during the award period (spring quarter) of the year they are nominated.

NOTE: Previous award recipients are not eligible to receive the award in subsequent years.

Nomination Procedures

The Graduate Division invites up to ​two (2) nominations from each academic department. In selecting nominees, please consider the following criteria as they relate to your candidates:

  • Has the graduate student demonstrated effectiveness in supervising an undergraduate researcher?
  • How much time and interest has the graduate student invested in introducing undergraduate students to experimental and investigative research?
  • How has the graduate student developed supervisory strategies that are effective in motivating students to achieve success in undergraduate research?
  • What is the subsequent record of undergraduate students who have worked under the supervision of this graduate student?
  • Overall, what distinguishes this graduate student as ​a departmental or program nominee for one of these awards?

Each nomination must include:

  1. A nomination letter from a faculty mentor, program director, or program coordinator, which must not exceed two typed pages.
  2. A nomination letter from an undergraduate mentee of the nominee. This letter should describe a research project or course in which the ​nominee and the undergraduate mentee were involved.
  3. A statement from the graduate student nominee discussing the relevance of the mentoring experience on his/her own education and future career plans.


You may contact Shawn Warner, the Graduate Division's Director of Professional Development, with any questions about the award or the nomination process.


Previous Recipients of the Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award


Monica Cornejo | Communication
Avi McClelland-Cohen | Communication
Mallory Melton | Anthropology


Jeremy Chow | English
Toni Gonzalez | Anthropology
Jacob Kirksey | Education


Aubrie Adams | Communication
Melissa Barthelemy | History
Baron Haber | English


Holly Roose | History
Benjamin Smith | Communication
Vanessa Witenko | Education

Previous Recipients of the Fiona Goodchild Award


Thomas (Alex) Johnson | Earth Science
Eric Jones | Physics
Nick Sherck | ​Chemical Engineering


Emre Discekici | Chemistry
Michelle Lee | Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology
Payton Small | Psychological & Brain Sciences


Phil Ehret | Psychological & Brain Sciences
May ElSherif | Computer Science
Devyn Orr | Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology


Jeffrey Bowen | Psychological & Brain Sciences
Kaziya Lee | Psychological & Brain Sciences
Kelly Thomasson | Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology


Stacy Copp | Physics
William Ryan | Psychological & Brain Sciences


Holly Roose | History
Marisa Weaver | Chemistry and Biochemistry


Ashley Wright | Chemistry and Biochemistry
Katlyn Roggensack | Communication


Lisa McAllister | Anthropology
Melissa Bator | Communication


J. Stephen Gosnell | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Richard A. Lewis | Chemistry and Biochemistry


Loren Merrill | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Chris von Rueden | Anthropology


Jung-Eun Janie Lee | Linguistics
Andrew T. Stull | Psychology


Aubrey Cano | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Claudia Kouyoumdjian | Gevirtz Graduate School of Education


Mara Henderson | Linguistics
Scott Hamilton | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology


Sarah Lester | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Juliet Simpson | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology


Sherry T. Hikita | Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Pankaj S. Karande | Chemical Engineering


Tom Jaramillo | Chemical Engineering
Laura Mydlarz | Marine Science


Claudia Moya | Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Kevin Wingerd | Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology