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Rackham Master’s Mentoring Award

To honor and encourage the accomplishments of faculty who serve as distinguished mentors to Master's degree students, the Graduate School has established the Rackham Master's Mentoring Awards. We seek to recognize faculty members from any discipline who serve as dedicated and inspiring mentors to Rackham Master's students, especially those students who do not intend to pursue doctoral degrees. This award is part of the Graduate School's continuing effort to foster a culture of high quality graduate mentoring.

Open/Edit a Nomination

General Information


Nominees must be faculty members who have advised a substantial number of Rackham Master's degree students over a number of years. More than one nomination may be submitted from any one program. Nominees may be a tenured or tenure track faculty member, or a lecturer, clinical, or research faculty member. Nominators are encouraged to identify outstanding women, faculty of color, and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their discipline or profession.

Selection Criteria

Nominees should be scholars, researchers, artists or professionals with a demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, and professional growth of their Master's degree students. Review committee members recognize that mentoring takes a variety of forms.

Number of Awards

One or two recipients will receive an award of $1,500.

Source of Nominations

Nominations may be submitted by deans, directors, department/program heads, executive, promotion or award committees, or individual faculty members. If you plan to re-nominate a competitor from a prior year, please contact Faculty Awards to arrange for activation of the online dossier.

Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee composed of faculty members who have themselves been recognized for their record of mentoring. Awardees will be selected by the Dean of the Graduate School, based upon recommendations of this committee. Recipients will be notified later in the term and the awards will be formally presented at a ceremony on Thursday, April 14, 2016


The nomination deadline for the 2016 Rackham Master's Mentoring Award is January 27, 2016, 12:00 pm, Eastern time.

For more information contact:

Faculty Awards
Telephone: (734) 936-1647

Guidelines for the Preparation of Nominations

A nomination dossier can be set up by a U-M faculty or staff member. Up to six others may be given access to the site by the person who opens the dossier on the website. After a nomination dossier is started the nominator(s) and assistant(s) may login to the faculty awards nomination system as many times as needed in order to complete the nomination.

Contact Information Form

Provide in the online form all the contact information requested for both the nominee and the nominator--not the administrative contact.

Letter of Nomination

You may submit your nomination letter by uploading the document in Adobe PDF format. If this is a re-nomination you have the option of submitting an addendum to your earlier nomination letter or of uploading a new letter that will replace the earlier one. The nomination letter may be no longer than five pages (2,000 words) in length.

The committee members represent a range of disciplines and may not be familiar with your nominee's field; it is essential to describe achievements in a way that conveys the significance of the nominee’s contributions to those not acquainted with the norms of your discipline. It’s important that the nomination make it clear why this particular individual was nominated given the notably accomplished and engaged number of faculty at U-M.

If you wish, you may include in your five pages evidence of teaching excellence or impact other than the standard teaching evaluations provided by the Registrar’s Office or used by your school or college. Please note that we will collect the teaching evaluations for your nominee and add them to the file, so that you do not need to obtain and upload this information.

While letters from others may not be included, the nominator is welcome to solicit in advance short descriptions of the nominee’s contributions from former and current students, peers and faculty with whom the nominee has co-taught. Excerpts from these may be incorporated where appropriate in the letter of nomination.

Committee members often find the following information helpful as they try to evaluate and distinguish among a highly competitive set of nominees. Persuasive letters of nomination will include reference to how the nominee:

  • models an impressive record of excellence in research, professional and/or creative work, teaching skills, and integrity;
  • ensures that students master the key content and skills of their field;
  • attracts an increased number of students to Michigan and to his or her field of study to study in the program;
  • 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 necessary to take full 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 facing leaders in the discipline or profession;
  • inspires commitment to integrity and life-long excellence in the discipline or profession;
  • contributes to graduate education in general at the University of Michigan.

Curriculum Vitae

Include the nominee's complete and current c.v. by uploading the most recent version in Adobe PDF format.

Service as Advisor Form

Complete the form by providing the following information for service as advisor to graduate students in the past four years: name of student, student’s department/program, year the degree was conferred or is expected, role served by the nominee, and placement information for the student. Please list first those for which the nominee was chair or co-chair. The awards selection committee considers placement information to be valuable in their assessment. Although we are especially interested in Rackham Master’s degree students, the faculty member’s role in advising other students may also be included.

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