Department of International and Area Studies
Recipient, Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs

Background of the Award

Excerpts from the GSIs’ Nomination Letters

Background of the Award

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, sponsored by the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the GSI Teaching & Resource Center, is presented as a surprise in the faculty member’s classroom, with the GSIs and other departmental faculty and staff present.

Khalid Kadir of International and Area Studies is one of four faculty members who received the award in April 2018. Jeffrey Reimer, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chair of the Graduate Council’s Faculty Committee for GSI Affairs, presented the award plaque.

The excerpts below reflect mentoring activities that the GSI found especially effective.

Excerpts from the GSIs’ Nomination Letters

GSIs write that the excellence of Dr. Kadir’s mentorship is apparent on day one: “At the beginning of each semester, Dr. Kadir presents us with a document that breaks down the major responsibilities, workload and schedule of his GSI’s. The description is so detailed that it provides information down to the very hour of what will be required as a GSI. This is an upfront communication of what will be expected and how much time we are committing to his class over the semester. This document is significant because it illustrates just how much knowledge Dr. Kadir has about what his GSI’s are doing.”

GSIs also note the steps Dr. Kadir takes to prevent GSIs from having to reinvent the wheel: “Dr. Kadir shares a Dropbox folder with all of his GSI’s, where he has aggregated a majority of the work his past GSI’s have contributed to his courses.” His GSIs find it invaluable to access these materials and learn from former GSIs.

GSIs also value the respect Dr. Kadir demonstrates for the contributions GSIs make to the course:

“Dr. Kadir was excellent at asking for our feedback on assignments, tests and grading. It was up to each year’s GSI’s to create the grading key for the tests. This allowed us to evaluate our students on the basis of what we taught them. This process holds each GSI to high level of accountability while also preventing our students from being punished because they were not being scored by some out of date rubric.”

His GSIs also convey how much they have learned through the process of grading student work under Dr. Kadir’s mentorship:

“After every test, Dr, Kadir holds a long grading session with all of his GSI’s. At this grading session, we compare answers across all sections to best determine what types of answers should be awarded what grade. These grading sessions are extremely helpful in creating consistency between sections and graders, but are also surprisingly fun. We each have the chance to advocate for what we individually find to be the most important aspects of the material covered and also get a better understanding of how we each may have approached the material differently.”

In summary, they write: “It has been extremely inspiring to work with a person who truly cares for his student’s well-being, and truly considers the person behind the grade on a roll sheet. Learning to approach teaching in a compassionate manner, is one of the most valuable lessons Dr. Kadir has provided all of the GSI’s he has helped mentor.”

Congratulations, Dr. Kadir!