2020-21 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

On March 17, 2021, seven faculty members were presented with a Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award. Congratulations to all! Below are the winners and quotes taken from their nominators’ letters.

Sponsored by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International), these awards recognize faculty who render exceptional service to graduate students as supervisors and research mentors. The effect of such faculty on the careers of students is frequently transformational.

Onita BasuOnita Basu (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

  • As a 22-year-old international student migrating to Canada, there were a number of challenges I faced. Chief among those being adjusting to a new environment and understanding how to be successful within it. To that end, I could not have found a more caring, empathetic and knowledgeable mentor than Dr. Onita Basu.
  • I believe that she well deserves this award for her passion, patience, dedication, determination, and care for her students
  • She always inspires us to be motivated towards our goals and bring out the best in us. Even during the tough times of the recent global pandemic, she always made sure that everyone of us is safe and doing our best.
  • She makes classes more fun and interactive. She also has been a great inspiration for conducting research in the lab by encouraging intellectual thinking, educational dialogue, and constant learning.
  • She is kind, yet tough, focused, yet relaxed, and has a contagious optimism that makes anyone working with her feel they are onto something great, together. Dr. Basu truly exemplifies what it means to be a leader.

Shelley BrownShelley Brown (Psychology)

  • Shelley was a fantastic mentor who provided me with guidance when I needed it, freedom to be creative where appropriate, and constructive feedback that enabled me to produce the best research I possibly could.
  • Shelley taught me the importance of forming good relationships with those you work with, how kindness, compassion, and authenticity are integral traits to good mentoring relationships, and how important it is to be fair but firm, while also making your expectations clear.…I have no doubt that I would not be where I am today had Shelley not been my mentor and supervisor during my time at Carleton.
  • She allowed students to apply statistical techniques to their own datasets and even took the time to produce a series of step-by-step “How to Guides” for each of the methods. I’m sure many of her former students draw upon these guides to this day.
  • Students seem to find statistics courses much more stressful than other courses, so the students undoubtedly appreciated Shelley’s encouragement, patience, and efforts to make the course clear and fair.
  • Shelley always meets me with understanding, compassion, and respect; always encouraging me to take care of myself while masterfully balancing this self-care with appropriate encouragement and “pressure” so that I am still able to deliver on important deadlines.

Jenny BruinJennifer Bruin (Biology)

  • Jenny has all the qualities of an exceptional supervisor and role model; she is extremely knowledgeable, approachable, and supportive to name a few. Jenny always goes above and beyond to support us in our work, even more so during this COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Having to isolate [during the pandemic] put a dramatic fault on all our research, which was an extreme source of stress. Jenny worked really hard to help us find a way of being productive and maximize our time at home…I cannot express simply with words how grateful I am to have such a dedicated supervisor, and how reassuring it was to have a calm and caring supervisor looking out for me during the pandemic.
  • Because of her exceptional mentorship, I was able to successfully complete my MSc, attend and present at multiple research symposiums, publish my research in scientific journals, and participate in several advanced training opportunities. Together, these experiences have propelled me toward my goals of becoming a physician and a scientist.
  • As a new graduate student, Dr. Bruin has always been available for discussion, questions, and providing constructive feedback on my current work.
  • During my time in her lab, I have gone from feeling like a semi-adequate student, to a competent and valued member of a skilled research team, a result I gladly credit to Dr. Bruin.

Mark ForbesMark Forbes (Biology)

  • Dr. Forbes consistently goes above and beyond for students. This has been especially evidenced during the COVID-19 crisis where he has routinely checked on his team, ensuring that we are all doing well; and helping to further develop our projects to adapt to the pandemic so we can continue to work from home.
  • As a parent, I was hesitant about entering graduate school, having heard other students talk about heavy work hours and high stress/ pressure environments. Under the supervision of Dr. Forbes, this could not be further from my experience. Dr. Forbes encourages his students to have a life outside of work, allows for flexible work hours, and actively checks in on his students to ensure we are not burning out. As such, my graduate school experience has been nothing but positive.
  • Mark is an exceptional scientist, and encourages his students to strive for excellence, skillfully identifying and affirming their strengths while supporting them and teaching them in their weaknesses. With a wealth of experience across many sub-disciplines, Mark is willing to reach out on behalf of students – myself included – to experts in the field outside the university and even abroad to establish connections; connections that, in my own experience, can lead to fascinating projects and co-authored published papers.
  • As a graduate student, Dr Forbes always treated me as a future peer, where he respected my thoughts and  ideas, gave me academic freedom to explore new research avenues and was always enthusiastic to discuss the data I collected.
  • I feel safe coming forward and telling Mark when I am struggling because I know he will be supportive and help by providing me with the resources I need to succeed.

Heath MacMillan (Biology)

  • Dr. MacMillan adopts a whole student support mentoring approach, wanting to not only help his students with their science, but also with all other aspects of their well-being and professional development.
  • Dr. MacMillan is ALWAYS thinking of students first, and how to get the funding necessary to support them. I have observed Dr. MacMillan going above and beyond, time and time again.
  • When I first started in the MacMillan Lab, I aspired to become a scientific illustrator. Not only did Dr. MacMillan understand that I did not wish to pursue a career in research, but he went above and beyond to involve me in numerous illustration-based projects.
  • He took time away from his own schedule every week for the whole summer to help relieve me of the simultaneous pressure of taking care of so many animals and finishing my thesis. I was shocked by this aid as we have 15+ lab members, each with their own needs and concerns, and he was taking so much time to help me.
  • If anything, the pandemic has heightened Heath’s generosity and awareness of every lab member’s well-being. He has been the pillar of leadership to all of us in the lab and is genuinely an exceptional supervisor to have during the time of COVID-19.

Alexis Shotwell (Sociology and Anthropology)

  • One of Alexis’ practices that has had the biggest impact on my graduate school experience is the way she creates collaborative and supportive spaces for her graduate students. In addition to meeting with her students one on one, she organizes a thesis group for all of the students she supervises. This group meets regularly throughout the year to collectively troubleshoot various struggles we might be facing in our academic or personal lives.
  • During my time as her graduate student, she has organized and executed multiple weeks of ‘writing camp,’ whereby graduate students (and faculty), can meet virtually for periods of intensive writing. This activity is above and beyond her responsibilities as a professor at Carleton. Writing camp has been an invaluable resource for me, particularly during COVID-19, as it is a chance to connect and check in with other graduate students.
  • During my time as one of her students, I have gone through some personal hardships and lost my father. Alexis continued to check in with me and offer whatever support she could. She was also extremely compassionate when outlining a new timeline for my research as a result, and that compassion has not wavered since.
  • Whether you’re talking about challenges you have in graduate school, your research project, your personal life or just about your day, Prof. Shotwell is there to listen with open ears and with an open mind.
  • This year of chaos and anxiety has made especially clear to me how much Alexis cares about graduate students, and the work she has done to set up and facilitate the creation of this online writing group/communal support space for graduate students make her well deserving of this award.

Rob TeatherRobert Teather (Information Technology)

  • Even though he already had many students to supervise in his own department, he still agreed to be my co-supervisor…. Although it was a difficult and incredibly busy time for all of us, his feedback and perspective were really important for me and helped me believe I could actually carry through this project.
  • While working on research projects, every individual student received his timely feedback in both the classroom and one-on-one meetings. If a student faced problems while working on their project, he encouraged other students to help their peers. In addition to forming caring relationships with each student, he fostered healthy and mutually respectful relationships between the students and created a little community in his classroom.
  • As a mature student, working in the industry, one tends to be very “value conscious” of both time and area of focus. With Rob, he was very clear and decisive about sharing his insights into what is important, what is less critical and future areas of concern/opportunity. His approach was quite effective and very results-oriented. For example, Rob created a template/process for incrementally creating a publishable paper, section by section. As most of the students had little or no true academic publishing experience, it was a great process that enabled the student to gradually “feel” and “think” their way through the process until they had created a publishable product.
  • Dr. Teather is highly respected by all of his students. Even student groups, which aren’t supervised by him, ask him for advice when it comes to empirical research and user studies. This showcases his open-door policy.
  • Once, I had some difficulties doing an assignment for one of my classes (not related to Dr. Teather’s courses)…When he came to the lab to talk to one of my lab mates, he asked me about the problem, and when he figured out what’s the issue, he started to teach me that topic himself and helped me do the assignment.


2019-20 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

Mentoring award winners 2019-20

The seven winners of these awards are listed in alphabetical order below.

  • Kyle Biggar, Biology
  • Susan Braedley, Social Work
  • Janna Fox, Linguistics and Language Studies
  • Audrey Girouard, Information Technology
  • Julie Murray, English Language and Literature
  • Brian Schmidt, Political Science
  • Dale Spencer, Law and Legal Studies

2018-19 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

On March 26, 2019 seven faculty members were presented with a 2018 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award. Congratulations to all! Below are the winners.

Sponsored by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International), these awards recognize faculty who render exceptional service to graduate students as supervisors and research mentors. The effect of such faculty on the careers of students is frequently transformational.

Details about the award are available in our Frequently Asked Questions document.

  • Ali Arya (Information Technology)
  • Robert Biddle (Computer Science)
  • Marie-Eve Carrier-Moisan (Sociology and Anthropology)
  • Shulabh Gupta (Electronics)
  • Merlyna Lim (Journalism and Communication)Ashraf Matrawy (Information Technology)
  • Marina Milyavskaya (Psychology)

Eighth Annual 2017 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

On March 6, 2018 seven faculty members were presented with a 2017 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award. Congratulations to all!

  • James R. Green – Systems & Computer Engineering
  • Irena Knezevic – Communication Studies
  • Jeremy Laliberte – Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Sreeraman Rajan – Systems & Computer Engineering
  • Susan Whitney – History
  • Alex Wong – Biology
  • Jayne Yack – Biology

Seventh Annual 2016 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

On March 1, 2017 seven faculty members were presented with a 2016 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award. Congratulations to all!

Below are the seven winners of the 2016 awards

  • Adrian Chan – Systems and Computer Engineering
  • Sonia Chiasson – Computer Science
  • Ian Marsland – Systems and Computer Engineering
  • Janet Siltanen – Sociology
  • Myron Smith – Biology
  • Dwayne Winseck – Communication
  • Michael Wohl – Psychology

Winners of the 2015 Carleton Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards

Below are the eight winners of the 2015 Faculty Graduate Mentoring Awards.

  • Natasha Artemeva – Linguistics & Applied Language
  • Patricia Ballamingie – Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Cheryl Harasymchuk – Psychology
  • Andrea Howard – Psychology
  • Hans-Martin Jaeger – Political Science
  • Carol Payne – Art History
  • Owen Rowland – Biology
  • Jaffer Sheyholislami – School of Linguistics and Applied Language

Winners of the 2014 Awards

  • Robert Coplan – Psychology
  • Maria DeRosa – Chemistry
  • Adelle Forth – Psychology
  • Gerald Grant – Sprott School of Business
  • James Opp – History
  • Cristina Rojas – Political Science, NPSIA
  • Marc St-Hilaire – School of Information Technology
  • Garry Tarr – Electronics
  • Sarah Todd – Social Work
  • David Wood – School of Linguistics and Language Studies

Winners of the 2013 Awards

  • Jit Bose – Computer Science
  • Steven Cooke – Biology
  • Matthew Holahan – Neuroscience
  • Deepthi Kamawar – Cognitive Science & Psychology
  • Evangelos Kranakis – Computer Science
  • Evelyn Maeder – Criminology & Psychology
  • Isaac Otchere – Business
  • Joanna Pozzulo – Psychology
  • Paul Van Geel – Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Paul Van Oorschot – Computer Science

Winners of the 2012 Awards

  • Hymie Anisman – Neuroscience and Health Psychology, Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience
  • Andrew Brook – Philosophy and Cognitive Science
  • Aaron Doyle – Sociology and Anthropology, the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice & the Institute of Political Economy
  • Linda Duxbury – Sprott School of Business
  • Lenore Fahrig – Biology
  • Matthew Johnson – Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering & Canada Research Chair in Energy and Combustion Generated Air Emissions
  • Nicolas Papadopoulos – Sprott School of Business
  • Timothy Pychyl (Psychology & the School of Linguistics and Language Studies
  • Claire Samson – Earth Sciences
  • Gabriel Wainer – Systems and Computer Engineering

Winners of the 2011 Awards

  • Alfonso Abizaid – Department of Neuroscience
  • Susan Bertram – Department of Biology & Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science
  • Amir Banihashemi – Department of Systems and Computer Science
  • Lorraine Dyke – Sprott School of Business
  • Uma Kumar, – Sprott School of Business & Director, Research Center for Technology Management
  • Jo-Anne LeFevre – Director, Institute of Cognitive Science
  • Banu Örmeci – Canada Research Chair in Wastewater and Public Health Engineering & Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • David Rogers – Canada Research Chair in Medical Physics & Professor, Department of Physics
  • Roland Thomas – Sprott School of Business
  • Bill Willmore – Institute of Biochemistry, Departments of Biology and Chemistry

Winners of the 2010 Awards

  • Sue Aitken – Department of Biology and Institute of Biochemistry
  • Craig Bennell –  Department of  Psychology
  • Josh Greenberg – School of Journalism and Communications
  • Sheryl  Hamilton – School of Journalism and Communication
  • Louise A.  Heslop –  The Sprott School of Business
  • Norman Hillmer – Department of History
  • Vinod   Kumar – The Sprott School of Business
  • Thomas Kunz – Department of Systems and Computer Engineering
  • Ken Storey –  Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry and Institute of Biochemistry
  • Halim Yanikomeroglu – Department of Systems and Computer Engineering