Department of Geography
Recipient, Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs
Each spring graduate students are invited to nominate faculty members for the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs. Typically each nomination is supported by several GSIs who have worked with the honoree. The award is sponsored by the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the GSI Teaching & Resource Center.
My philosphy of mentoring is very simple: I regard GSIs as co-participants in a shared project of commitment to undergraduate learning that has several key dimensions. First is my ongoing communication through regular meetings with the GSIs about what is and is not working in lectures and sections, and making adjustments as we go along. What is crucial here is GSIs’ direct access to undergraduates, and my dependence on their feedback. In addition, GSIs play a central role in an ongoing process of reshaping the syllabus. I’ve been teaching the course for which I received the award (DS100/Geography 112 “Development in Theory & History”) for many years, and each generation of GSIs has left their imprint on it. Third — and perhaps most important — is the growing sense throughout the course of the GSIs as colleagues with whom I hope to maintain ongoing contact as they move through their PhDs and go on to faculty positions. One of the great pleasures for me over the years has been to follow the careers of former GSIs as they become innovative scholars and excellent teachers.