Graduate Education Excellence Awards

Nomination deadline: TBD Spring 2025

The Division of Graduate Studies and Office of the Provost are pleased to recognize a select group of faculty, staff, and graduate students for excellence in graduate education.

Anyone can nominate! Nominations are welcome from UO faculty, students, and staff. Nominators are asked to share how candidates for these awards exceed expectations by making innovative or unique contributions that positively impact the quality of their graduate programs and/or the graduate student experience.

The Graduate Education Excellence Awards Committee, made up of past excellence award winners, is responsible for screening, reviewing, and recommending final candidates to receive the awards. The Division of Graduate Studies convenes the committee and administers the process. The names of the nominees and the award winners kept confidential until announced in the spring. 

These awards recognize that strong mentorship and academic leadership and coordination are essential components of strong graduate programs. With these awards, the Division of Graduate Studies hopes to reinforce and highlight practices that enhance the quality of graduate education at the University of Oregon.

2023-24 Winners

Past Winners


Excellence in Mentorship Award: Faculty Mentors

This award recognizes faculty members who provide outstanding mentorship of graduate students. Mentorship includes fostering the academic and professional excellence of students by using mentoring practices that are: 

  1. Culturally responsive: A culturally responsive mentor recognizes the different experiences and identities within the mentoring relationship, honors those differences, and reinforces their mentee’s self-efficacy. Mentees are in charge of their own learning, with mentors operating as guides or coaches.
  2. Network based: A network model of mentoring involves a rich constellation of formal and informal relationships with a variety of professional colleagues, each supporting the mentee according to their own competencies, skills, and lived experiences.
  3. Reciprocal: Reciprocal mentorship recognizes that mentees can bring complementary knowledge and experiences to the relationship. It functions as a creative and dynamic alliance in which all parties regularly engage in identifying, communicating, and investing time working toward developmental goals.
  4. Adaptive: Mentoring changes with the needs of mentees, reflecting the mentees’ current career stage, professional goals, and need for guidance. Over time, adaptive mentoring relationships develop beyond transactional, hierarchical structures into ones in which all parties move between expert and learner roles as appropriate.

This Excellence Award includes:

  • A $300 award in their name granted to a graduate student in their department
  • Recognition at the Distinguished Teaching and Research Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony

Excellence in Mentorship Award: Graduate Student Mentors

This award recognizes graduate students who provide outstanding mentorship to undergraduate or graduate students. Mentorship includes fostering the academic and professional excellence of students by using mentoring practices that are: 

  1. Culturally responsive: A culturally responsive mentor recognizes the different experiences and identities within the mentoring relationship, honors those differences, and reinforces their mentee’s self-efficacy. Mentees are in charge of their own learning, with mentors operating as guides or coaches.
  2. Network based: A network model of mentoring involves a rich constellation of formal and informal relationships with a variety of professional colleagues, each supporting the mentee according to their own competencies, skills, and lived experiences.
  3. Reciprocal: Reciprocal mentorship recognizes that mentees can bring complementary knowledge and experiences to the relationship. It functions as a creative and dynamic alliance in which all parties regularly engage in identifying, communicating, and investing time working toward developmental goals.
  4. Adaptive: Mentoring changes with the needs of mentees, reflecting the mentees’ current career stage, professional goals, and need for guidance. Over time, adaptive mentoring relationships develop beyond transactional, hierarchical structures into ones in which all parties move between expert and learner roles as appropriate.

This Excellence Award includes:

  • A $300 award 
  • Recognition at the Distinguished Teaching and Research Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony

Excellence Award for Directors of Graduate Studies

The director of graduate studies is a faculty member charged with managing the essentials of the graduate program. This may include oversight of, or involvement in, graduate student recruitment and admissions, orientation and training, fellowships and funding, and GE appointments, assignments, and supervision. Directors of Graduate Study lead the creation of graduate learning environments that are rigorous, inclusive, and support students professional development and excellence. 

This Excellence Award includes:

  • A $300 award in their name granted to a graduate student in their department
  • Recognition at the Distinguished Teaching and Research Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony

Excellence Award for Graduate Coordinators

The graduate coordinator (in some departments this person may have a different title, such as graduate secretary or graduate program manager) is a staff member who provides support to the director of graduate studies, department head, and other faculty in the coordination of all graduate student related activities in the program including recruitment, admissions, GE appointments, tracking degree progress, and fellowship nominations. Graduate coordinators help keep students advancing academically and help cultivate an excellent and inclusive graduate learning environment. 

This Excellence Award includes:

  • A $300 award in their name granted to a graduate student in their department
  • Recognition at the Directors of Graduate Study and Graduate Partners’ meetings