Faculty Mentor Award

Announcing The 2018 Faculty Mentor Award (FMA)

The Graduate Assembly is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Faculty Mentor Awards, selected from a pool of forty-four outstanding nominees. They are:

  • Prof. Marla Feller

Marla Feller is a Professor of Neurobiology and a Member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, with research interests in neural circuits and retinas. The Award committee was impressed by Prof. Feller’s commitment to equitable access and opportunity in the sciences, as well as her support for a broad range of researchers – from graduate students, to postdocs, to other faculty members.

  • Prof. Carolina Reid

Carolina Reid is an Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning, and is an expert on housing and community development. The Award committee wanted to recognize Prof. Reid for championing both the professional as well as the personal wellbeing of graduate and professional students.

  • Prof. Britt Glaunsinger

Britt Glaunsinger is a Professor of Plant & Microbial Biology, studying virus-host interactions. The Award committee was especially impressed by Prof. Glaunsinger’s commitment to scientific communication and individual development; her innovations in providing holistic and structured mentorship have ensured success for her students.

The UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award (FMA), now in its fourteenth year, honors members of the Berkeley faculty and teaching staff who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring, advising, and generally supporting graduate students. The Graduate Assembly presents three FMAs to selected mentors every year. When possible, one of these awards is reserved for a faculty member or teaching staff from a professional degree program. The primary nominator must be a present or former graduate student; associate nominators can include undergraduates, postdocs, or consist of jointly written letters. At least one of the nominators should be a current or recently graduated (May 2017 or later) graduate student .

The deadline for nominations was Friday, February 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm.

Email Shreyas Patankar, GA Campus Affairs Vice President, if you have questions about the 2018 FMA at cavp-ga@berkeley.edu.


Any member of the Academic Senate or teaching staff affiliated with a graduate degree-granting program (including professional programs) can be nominated for the award, so long as the nominee directs advanced degree work. Nominees can include lecturers with and without security of employment; assistant, associate, full professors, and emeriti. Individuals who have won an award in the last two years (2016 and 2017) are not eligible for the 2018 awards. Previous nominees who have not received the award may be re-nominated.  A nomination from a member of the selection committee or for an advisor to a member of the selection committee will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

The FMA recognizes distinction in mentoring and advising only.  Therefore, it is meant to recognize outstanding commitment to mentoring an advisee, and not the relationship between a faculty member and someone who was only their GSI.

The selection committee would like to know how the nominee has exceeded the standard role played by an adviser with respect to the three following criteria:

  1. To what extent has the nominee provided outstanding personal support/development (in any form)?
  2. To what extent has the nominee helped shape the graduate work of the nominator(s)?
  3. To what extent has the nominee helped the nominator(s) further their career?

The selection committee is interested in specific examples of extraordinary mentorship, but since the committee is composed of graduate students from a variety of disciplines, and interested only in identifying excellence in advising, we recommend that your letters not focus too much on research specifics.

Nomination Process

In order to nominate a faculty member, you must be a graduate student or recent graduate who has directly benefited from some aspect of the candidate’s mentoring or advising. The primary nominator must be a present or former graduate student; associate nominators can include undergraduates or consist of jointly written letters.  At least one of the nominators should be a current or recently graduated (May 2017 or later) graduate student .

Upon emailing letters of recommendation to the Campus Affairs Vice President (cavp-ga@berkeley.edu), please complete this form to officially confirm the nomination: https://goo.gl/forms/jf4r0vZo0r9nPE562

Nominations must include:

  1. Three (3) letters of recommendation, each no longer than 600 words; letters must include the first and last names, email addresses, mailing addresses, and contact telephone numbers of each recommender. Do not submit more than 3 letters. Send all nomination letters to cavp-ga@berkeley.edu by the deadline.
  2. A completed nomination form (available at https://goo.gl/forms/jf4r0vZo0r9nPE562), confirming the recommenders have emailed their letters.

We highly recommend that you notify the faculty member that you are nominating. 

Previous Faculty Mentor Award Winners


  • Imke de Pater — Professor, Astronomy
  • Shari Huhndorf, Professor, Native American Studies and Ethnic Studies
  • Janelle Scott, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education and African American Studies


  • Kinch Hoekstra — Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science
  • Mahasin Mujahid — Assistant Professor, Public Health, Epidemiology
  • Costas J. Spanos — Andrew S. Grove Distinguished Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.


  • Abigail De Kosnik — Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
  • Andrea DuBrow — School of Social Welfare
  • Todd Hickey — Classics


  • Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe — English
  • Jeffrey Long — Chemistry
  • Maciej Zworski — Mathematics


  • Andrea Peterson — Law
  • Patricia Penn Hilden — Ethnic Studies
  • Juana Maria Rodriguez — Gender and Women Studies


  • Teresa Caldeira — City and Regional Planning
  • Alastair Iles — Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
  • Craig Moritz — Integrative Biology


  • Jennifer Miller — English
  • Barrie Thorne — Sociology
  • David Ackerly — Integrative Biology


  • Lisa F. Barcellos — Public Health
  • Tsu-Jae King Liu — Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Nicholas Paige — French


  • Inez Fung — Earth and Planetary Science
  • Carla Hesse — History
  • Loren Patridge — History of Art


  • Dru Dougherty — Spanish and Portuguese
  • Paola Bacchetta — Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Carlos F. Daganzo — Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Richard Norgaard — Energy and Resource Group
  • Willian B. Taylor — History
  • Christine Wildsoet — Optometry


  • Nelson Graburn — Anthropology
  • Ananya Roy — City and Regional Planning, Environmental Design
  • John Lindow — Scandinavian Studies


  • Severin Borenstein — Haas School of Business
  • David Collier — Political Science
  • Jabari Mahiri — Education
  • Thomas Scanlon — Mathematics

2004  (first year)

  • Patricia Baquedano-Lopez — LLSC, Graduate School of Education
  • Sally Fairfax — Society and Environment, Division of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
  • John Harte — Division of Ecosystem Sciences, ESPM College of Natural Resources, Energy and Resource Group
  • Donald Moore — Social Cultural Anthropology