Two faculty members honoured for outstanding graduate student supervision

Two faculty members honoured for outstanding graduate student supervision

By Communications Staff

June 27, 2023


Excellence in academic supervision is a hallmark of the Queen’s graduate student experience. Productive supervisory relationships promote a thriving university research culture where students are supported to make meaningful contributions to their field of specialization and address pressing challenges facing our communities and society.

The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs annually recognizes two leading graduate supervisors with the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. The 2023 recipients are Jeffrey Brison (Co-Director of the Cultural Studies Program and Professor of History) and Mohammad Zulkernine (Professor and Graduate Chair, School of Computing).  

“We are impressed by the calibre of nominations we receive that recognize faculty members who exemplify the highest standards of graduate supervision at Queen’s,” says Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. “The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs congratulates all nominees for their outstanding commitment to leadership and mentorship and for their ongoing contributions to enriching the academic experience of our graduate community.”

Learn more about this year’s recipients:

Jeffrey Brison

Dr. Brison is the author of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Canada: American Philanthropy and the Arts and Letters in Canada, a study that explores the influence of private American philanthropy on the making of a national culture in Canada. A founding member of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI), he is currently co-authoring a series of articles exploring the history of Canada’s use of “culture” in advancing its foreign policy initiatives and global orientations.

Over two decades, Dr. Brison has supervised more than 40 graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows and served on dozens of supervisory committees in the Departments of History, Art History, the Faculty of Education, and the Cultural Studies Program. Additionally, Brison has been a host supervisor to visiting graduate students from Mexico and Scotland. He is the 2014 recipient of the Department of History’s Faculty Teaching Award. In 2021, the Faculty of Arts Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching recognised his teaching, supervision and mentoring work.

Students under his supervision have garnered provincial and federal awards as well as support and recognition from the International Council for Canadian Studies, MITACS Accelerate and Globalinks Research Fellowship programs, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, the Canadian-US Fulbright program, the Embassy of Canada (U.S.) Internship Program, and the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies. At the end of the day, Brison measures “success” in the terms his students set. His happiest moments at Queen’s are connected to his collaborations with the outstanding group of graduate students with whom he has been fortunate to work.

Mohammad Zulkernine

Dr. Zulkernine was the Canada Research Chair in Software Dependability from 2011 to 2021. He leads the Queen’s Reliable Software Technology (QRST) research group and is currently focused on building secure software for cyber-physical systems such as connected and autonomous vehicles and other IoT applications. With the support of Canadian provincial and federal agencies and industry, Dr. Zulkernine has led more than 30 research projects on software security and reliability. Additionally, he collaborated in several multi-university and international research initiatives.

Since joining Queen’s in 2003, Dr. Zulkernine has mentored 13 postdoctoral fellows, 22 doctoral and 44 master’s students, with whom he has co-authored over 200 refereed publications. In 2016, he was recognized with the Distinguished Graduate Supervision award from the School of Computing. His supervised students won conference best paper awards, the Governor General Gold Medal, PhD Research Achievement, and Distinguished Master’s Thesis awards.

Drs. Brison and Zulkernine receive their award at Spring Convocation 2023.

About The Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision

The Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision recognizes supervisors who demonstrate outstanding excellence in advising, monitoring, and mentoring graduate students. Excellence is judged on the quality of supervision and mentorship in facilitating the acquisition of skills and resources needed for students to succeed as scholars and professionals. The criteria for the award reflect supervisors who inspire students to push scholarly boundaries, pursue their career and academic goals, offer quality feedback and guidance, and broadly support a culture of supervisory excellence within their school/faculty and/or university. Preference is given to faculty members who have displayed sustained mentorship activity over many years.

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