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Rackham Master’s Mentoring Award

The Rackham Master's Mentoring Awards recognize faculty from any discipline who are outstanding mentors to master’s students, particularly for those in programs for which the master’s is the terminal degree.

Open/Edit a Nomination

General Information


Faculty members who have an outstanding record of advising Rackham master’s students may be nominated for these awards. Nominees may be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, or a lecturer, clinical, or research faculty member. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

The Rackham Master's Mentoring Awards honor mentors who, through a variety of forms, demonstrate commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, and professional growth of their master's students.

Number of Awards

Up to two awards will be made, each with an honorarium of $1,500.

Source of Nominations

Nominations may be submitted by deans, directors, department/program heads, promotion or award committees, or individual faculty members. To re-nominate someone previously nominated, contact Honors and Awards to activate the online dossier.

Selection Process

A committee of faculty who have been recognized as outstanding mentors will review nominations and submits recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School, who makes the final selection. Recipients will be notified in the winter term and awards will be formally presented at a ceremony on Thursday, April 17, 2017.


The nomination deadline is 5:00 pm, Friday, January 27, 2017.

For more information contact:

Honors and Awards
Rackham Graduate School
Telephone: (734) 764-4405

Guidelines for Preparing Nominations

As described below, a nomination dossier must include a cover sheet with contact information, a nominating letter, and curriculum vitae. Incomplete nomination dossiers cannot be reviewed. For each nomination dossier, the Graduate School will provide the Registrar’s Teaching Evaluation “Instructor Report” that tabulates quantitative data only.

The online nomination dossier may be set up by a U-M faculty or staff member. Others may be given login access to the site as needed. The nomination system may be accessed as often as needed in order to complete the nomination dossier. All materials must be uploaded in Adobe PDF format.

Cover Sheet

Complete the online cover sheet with all information requested for both the nominee and the nominator—not the administrator who may have initiated the dossier.

Nominating Letter

As selection committee members represent a range of disciplines and may not be familiar with the nominee’s field, describe the nominee’s skills and dedication as a mentor in a way that conveys their significance to those not acquainted with the field. Given the number of engaged faculty, the letter should explain why the nominee’s particular contributions to mentoring are exceptional and deserving of this honor. Letters should discuss, for example, the nominee’s mentoring style, how the nominee mentors students in diverse career paths, and how the nominee mentors students in their professional development. The letter may incorporate quotations from former and current students, peers and faculty with whom the nominee has co-taught.

The letter may be no longer than 2,000 words. A new letter may be submitted for re-nominations to replace the earlier letter, or an addendum may be submitted to update the dossier.

Letters should show how the nominee:

  • Models an outstanding record of excellence in scholarly or creative work, professional activities, teaching skills, and academic and professional integrity
  • Ensures that students master key content and skills of their field
  • Attracts students to Michigan and to his or her field of study
  • Promotes successful completion of students' graduate work and degree programs
  • Creates a supportive environment for students to pursue careers that make use of their graduate education
  • Provides students with the confidence, encouragement, and resources to take advantage of academic and professional opportunities at the University
  • Collaborates with other faculty in building stimulating intellectual cultures in which students thrive
  • Engages students in the major challenges and issues in the discipline or profession
  • Inspires commitment to integrity and life-long excellence in the discipline or profession
  • Contributes generally to graduate education at the University of Michigan

Curriculum Vitae

Provide the nominee’s current c.v.

Service as Advisor Form

The online nomination system includes a “Master’s Service as Advisor” form. Complete this form with information for the past four years, including names and departments/programs of students the nominee has advised and, for each student, the year of degree conferral, role served by the nominee, and placement information.

Open/Edit a Nomination

Recipients of the Rackham Master's Mentoring Award


  • Peter Ho Davies, Professor of English Language and Literature
  • Monica Marvin, Clinical Assistant Professor of Human Genetics


  • Gregory Keoleian, Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor of Sustainable Systems and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Michael Byers, Associate Professor of English Language and Literature
  • Julia Wondolleck, Associate Professor of Natural Resources


  • Mark Hunter, Henry A. Gleason Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


  • Volker Sick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering


  • Avery Demond, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Susan Waltz, Public Policy


  • Eileen Pollack, English Language & Literature
  • Steven Yaffee, Natural Resources and the Environment


  • Bradley R. Smith, Art and Radiology


  • Catherine Reischl, Educational Studies


  • Beverly Yashar, Human Genetics