Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring

Co-sponsored by the Graduate College


A well-crafted nomination for this award would clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in graduate student mentoring. Faculty members from academic units with graduate or professional instructional programs are eligible for the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring. Up to two recipients will be selected to receive this award, tenure-system and specialized faculty are eligible. The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


  • Tenure-system or specialized faculty who have taught on the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least 5 years as of the first day of the current academic year.
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years
  • Department Chairs and Heads are eligible

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in graduate student mentoring;
  • Innovative approaches to graduate advising;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Positive impact on graduate student scholarship and professional development; and,
  • Other contributions to improve graduate mentorship (e.g., developing courses and curricula; mentoring professional development; leading workshops on mentoring; advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning; or making other multidimensional contributions to graduate student mentoring beyond the classroom, laboratory, or studio; etc.)


A nomination may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni, and should be submitted to a departmental selection committee.

The departmental selection committee should include at least one graduate student member. Individuals who have been nominated during a particular year should not serve on the departmental selection committee during that same year.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures.
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excellent mentor of graduate students. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A mentoring philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should include a discussion of the challenges, methods, and goals of quality graduate student mentoring including a well-articulated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through their mentoring. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • Two letters of support* from students, preferably one from a graduate student currently enrolled at Illinois and one from an alumnus. (See Attachment C for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)

*Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest names.


Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Caroline TancredyPsychology2023
Jeffery MondakPolitical Science2023
Stephen BoppartElectrical & Computer Engineering2022
Brian OgolskyHuman Development & Family Studies2022
Stephen LongPlant Biology2021
Jie ChenCell & Developmental Biology2021
Sarita AdveComputer Science2020
Chi-Fang WuSocial Work2020
Anna Maria EscobarSpanish & Portuguese2019
Liora BreslerCurriculum & Instruction2018
S. Lance CooperPhysics2018
Joe MahoneyBusiness Administration2017
Josep TorrellasComputer Science2017
ChengXiang ZhaiComputer Science2016
Jennifer GreeneEducational Psychology2016
Andrew AlleyneMechanical Science & Engineering2015
Violet HarrisCurriculum & Instruction2015
Charles D. WrightEnglish2014
Scott WhiteAerospace Engineering2014
Michael LouiElectrical & Computer Engineering2013
Stacy DymondSpecial Education2013


For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, contact the Office of the Provost at tab-awards@illinois.edu or 217-333-6677.