Preparing grad students for academic life nets supervisors top award
Rod Lindsay (Psychology) and Audrey Kobayashi (Geography) expect a lot from the graduate students they supervise and they give a lot in return. They have received the 2010 Awards for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision for their teaching and support that helps shape the next generation of scholars and academics.
Dr. Lindsay credits his own graduate studies supervisor, Brendan Rule, for his success as a mentor.
“She was constantly supportive and always willing to talk about the research, two qualities I have incorporated into my graduate student supervision,” he says. “The cliché in the lab is that it is impossible to have a brief conversation with me.”
Michelle Bertrand, a PhD candidate, praises Dr. Lindsay’s generous and student-focused approach in a nomination letter.
“Conversations with Rod have benefitted me in more ways than just talking about research; I have learned a lot from him about teaching philosophy and structuring courses,” she says.
Dr. Lindsay works collaboratively with his graduate students, inviting them to participate in any of the research that’s going on in the lab. Typically, graduate students are the first authors on papers.
“I work on the logic that I don’t need to be first author; I already have a job. The graduate students need the experience of interacting with reviewers and editors, taking the lead on revisions, and working with multiple co-authors,” he says.
Preparing graduate students for academic life is Dr. Kobayahsi’s primary focus as well. She is fairly demanding when it comes to time management. She takes pride in the fact that none of the 10 graduate students she is currently supervising are past their funding eligibility.
“The implications for going past funding eligibility are huge,” says Dr. Kobayashi, who has been the Department of Geography graduate coordinator for several years. “They really have to knuckle down and treat the whole process in a professional way.”
Meghan Brooks, who has worked with Dr. Kobayashi as a Master’s student and now as a PhD candidate, credits her supervisor for her success as a student and academic.
“I have learned the value of critical thinking, patience and listening from Audrey. She has taught me not only how to survive the politics and demands of academia, but to enjoy it and take pride in my work,” she says.
Dr. Kobayashi enjoys watching graduate students develop into outstanding scholars.
“I love it when people get excited and enthusiastic about their work. Graduate students just come up with great ideas,” she says.
Dr. Kobayashi and Dr. Lindsay received their awards recently at fall convocation.