Graduate Mentor of the Year Award

The University Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award recognizes faculty excellence in the complex process of mentoring graduate students to prepare them for productive careers.

Nominees should be effective advisors who facilitate degree completion, model sound scholarship and ethical behavior, help students understand and benefit from departmental and university resources, provide emotional support, offer constructive criticism, and involve students in publishing and other professional activities.

The $2,000 award is presented at the RGS Gala, as well as recognition in the printed Commencement program.

Abby Benninghoff, recipient of the 2016 Graduate Mentor of the Year Award

Since joining USU in 2010, Abby Benninghoff has served as major advisor for five graduate students, three master’s students and two Ph.D. students, several of which have continued their training in Ph.D. or post-doctoral programs. Her service on 15 additional graduate advisory committees in her department, college and the College of Science indicates that her mentorship is highly respected and sought after.

Beyond a commitment to graduate student research, she has championed efforts to work with students across campus to improve professional science communication. She teaches essential skills in writing, preparing scientific manuscripts, presentations and public communication through free workshops and a semester-long professional development course.