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Faculty Excellence in Career Mentoring Award highlights value of outstanding mentors

Penn State College of Medicine values the contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of faculty, students, trainees and others. Generosity of time and spirit, objectivity and honest feedback, and commitment to the personal, professional and career development of mentees are some of the components of superb mentoring.

In order to recognize the contributions of outstanding mentors in the College of Medicine, each year, the Office of Faculty and Professional Development solicits applications for the Excellence in Career Mentoring Awards.

These awards acknowledge the exceptional effort of faculty who enable and empower students and staff, residents and trainees, junior faculty and peers on their path to achieve their full potential in one or more of the college’s core missions: clinical care, scholarship and research, teaching and/or service.

Four awards are given annually:

  • Basic Science Master Career Mentor, given to a full professor
  • Clinical Science Master Career Mentor, given to a full professor
  • Basic Science Career Mentor, given to an associate professor
  • Clinical Science Career Mentor, given to an associate professor

Nomination information will be posted when nominations are being accepted. The 2020 awardee will be announced in April.

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Excellence in Career Mentoring Award Details

Eligibility Expand answer

Nominations for the Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award are open to faculty who meet the following criteria:

  • Faculty must have held an appointment at Penn State College of Medicine for a minimum of three years, hold the rank of associate professor or professor, and be in good standing at the College of Medicine.
  • Tenured, tenure-track or fixed-term faculty are eligible.
  • Faculty who hold titles at the level of dean, vice dean, associate dean or chair are generally ineligible. Exceptions to this (i.e., recent appointments) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Faculty in any leadership position must demonstrate mentorship excellence outside the usual functions of their job titles.
  • This award can only be received once within a five-year period by an individual faculty member.
  • Faculty should have mentored individuals at multiple levels.
  • Basic scientists may have their primary appointment in a clinical science department. Individuals must self-identify whether they wish to be considered for the award as a basic or clinical scientist.
  • Mentors must be nominated as an individual.
Characteristics of Awardees Expand answer

A successful candidate for the mentorship award at the College of Medicine will demonstrate one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Ability to create a supportive environment for mentees’ development in at least one of the institutional mission areas.
  • Commitment to mentorship and a track record of successful mentees.
  • Evidence of mentorship skills that help mentees achieve advancement and/or promotion (for example, presentations, writing manuscripts, preparing grant applications.)
  • Advocacy to help mentees navigate organizational and systems issues.
  • Support of leadership development in mentees.
  • Care for the personal and professional development of mentees.

If a candidate has scholarship in the area of mentorship, this should be addressed in the nomination letter.

Nomination/Application Process Expand answer

Application Requirements

The following items must be included with the nominee’s application:

  • Three formal nomination letters (no more than two single-spaced pages each) are required as follows, with at least one coming from someone currently employed by Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health.
    • At least one letter must be from a current or prior mentee at Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health.
    • At least one letter must be from a chair (or other senior designee who has the ability to comment on the applicant’s success in mentoring).
    • A third nomination letter should be submitted from any person qualified to evaluate the mentorship capabilities of the candidate.
  • Nominee’s current CV highlighting mentorship achievements, including publications or presentations with mentees, scholarship about mentorship, etc.
  • A mentee table (list of current and prior mentees, current positions of mentees and mentee accomplishments; see example below). The table should illustrate a representative sample of up to 10 mentees upon whose career the nominee has had the most impact, over the past five to 10 years.
  • A 500- to 600-word statement by the nominee describing their philosophy of mentoring and examples of how mentoring has impacted their career and that of their mentees.

Submission information will be posted when nominations are being accepted.

Sample Mentee Table

Nominations Review Committee Expand answer

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee. Current committee members are:

Previous Awardees Expand answer

Previous mentoring award recipients are listed here.

Dr. Gisoo Ghaffari, left, receives the 2019 Excellence in Career Mentoring Award from Sue Glod.

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