Faculty Mentor Awards

The Faculty Mentor Award (FMA)

The UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award honors members of the Berkeley faculty and teaching staff who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring, advising, and supporting graduate students. The Graduate Assembly presents three awards to selected mentors every year.

The primary nominator must be a current graduate student or recent graduate (this past May or later) who has directly benefited from some aspect of the candidate’s mentoring or advising. Associate nominators can include undergraduates, postdocs, or consist of jointly written letters.

A call for nominations for the 2023 FMA was sent out in the Fall semester of 2022. Please submit nominations via this form. The deadline is Friday, February 24, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Email GA President’s Chief of Staff if you have questions about the FMA at

Nominee Eligibility

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 (2021 and 2022) are not eligible for the 2023 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

Each nominee must receive at least 3 nomination letters from three 3 individuals. One of the nominators must be a graduate student or recent graduate (May 2022 or later) who has directly benefited from some aspect of the candidate’s mentoring or advising. One of the three nominators will identify as the primary nominator. The primary nominator must be a present or former graduate student; associate nominators can include undergraduates or consist of jointly written letters. Please submit nominations via this form. The deadline is Friday, February 24, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Email the GA President Chief of Staff if you have questions at We highly recommend that you notify the faculty member that you are nominating. 

The award ceremony will be held April 26, 2023 from 5 to 7pm at the Alumni House on campus.


 Previous Faculty Mentor Award Winners

2022 Winners

Mara Loveman, Professor, Sociology
“Mara is an inspiring mentor because she mentors by example while giving students room to grow and explore in their own way. She gave me space to discover and define what academia meant to me and throughout this exploration process, provided unfailing support and inspiration. She engages with research and people on their own terms, with no ego and nothing to prove, and in so doing she elevates them.”

Mark Sandberg, Professor, Film & Media Studies, Scandinavian Studies
“Mark’s core traits as a mentor are generosity, patience, and dedication. He is our fearless leader and the one so many of us turn to first with any questions we have about our programs, projects, careers, or the university at large. He is tirelessly and unwaveringly generous and has been our lifeline throughout the pandemic. I cannot imagine a better mentor or role model as a scholar, teacher, and human being.”

Lok Siu, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
“Rigorous and compassionate, critical and collaborative, Professor Siu has shepherded my research project from start to finish, encouraged my individual development, and supported the trajectories of my career. She has the unique ability to see the great potential in her students and has a personal investment in seeing her students develop as not just scholars, but also people. She has inspired many of us as we embark on our own academic careers to be trailblazers just like her.”

See the GA Press Release for the 2022 Faculty Mentor Awards

2021 Winners

Timothy Bowles, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
“Tim’s example is one we strive to follow, from his pushes to include equity in conversations of science, to his thoughtful and generous approach to any collaboration, to his ability to be a wonderfully supportive father and husband while balancing the demands of remote work and an academic lifestyle. Our admiration for his choices makes his high expectations and praise guiding lights in our doctoral work.”

Drew Jacoby-Senghor, Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business
“Through Drew’s counsel, we learn more about ourselves and about the world that we seek to better understand. Regardless of the road we are paving for ourselves, Drew has been standing right beside us helping clear the path. It does not matter where you are from, what you look like, how you speak, or what you know––Drew has your back.”

Maria Mavroudi, Professor, Department of History
“I have come to learn many things from Professor Mavroudi. As a scholar, she urged me to seek excellence in my work without beating myself up for human errors and know when to take a break. As a teacher, she taught me to be compassionate with my students and remember that everyone has something to learn in a classroom. As a human being, she demonstrated the value of humility in a person’s character and the worth of caring for others in life.”

See the GA Press Release for the 2021 Faculty Mentor Awards

2020 Winners

Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies
“My world was being turned upside down before my eyes. I apprehensively shared my legal troubles as an undocumented student during a discussion in Professor Jones’ class. After class, she pulled me aside and assured me that around her, I was safe. She told me, “If they want to get to you, they will have to get through me.” Her words were the most validating and comforting affirmations I had heard during my time at UC Berkeley. She did not know me personally and I had never talked to her, but she was willing to put her body on the line for my safety and that meant the world to me.”

Erin Kerrison, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare
“While I have met many great people, none have approached mentorship with the full-on dedication that seemingly comes natural to Erin. I have told her on more than one occasion that she gives too much of herself and I worry that her cup may one day overflow, yet she just smiles her warm smile and says: “you let me worry about that. Just pay it forward and help others rise up. All you have to do is worry about getting this degree so you can change the world like you were meant to do.””

G. Cristina Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology
“Professor Mora has taught me that scholarship is not only about developing creative arguments; it is about participating in a community of people who have devoted their lives to understanding. Truly honoring this involves relating to each other as complete individuals who care not simply about the scholarly debates, but about the deep personal values that motivate our research and the human experience that underlies the creation of insightful academic work.”

See the GA Press Release for the 2020 Faculty Mentor Awards

2019 Winners

Marion Fourcade, Professor of Sociology.
“Marion challenged me to not tear down, but integrate the work of others, even those with whom I disagree. “Find what is true,” she said, “in what they have written and use it to build something of your own.” Her words marked a watershed, a moment of liberation, a release from the heavy burdens of academic entrenchment and intellectual polarization.”

Andrew F. Jones, Professor of East Asian Languages and Louis B. Agassiz Chair in Chinese.
“Andrew taught me how to be a scholar and a mentor, but more importantly, he taught me how to be a person. One day I saw him making photocopies for his class. Astonished, I asked him whether he had no GSI to help him do such trivial matters. He answered, “GSIs have more important things to do.””

Osagie Obasogie, Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics.
“Professor Obasogie’s mentorship does not compartmentalize my intellectual well-being from my personal welfare. He makes visible aspects of my graduate experience that would otherwise feel invisible and isolating. Having met with his other advisees, I know that I am not unique in this.”

2018 Winners

2017 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

2016 Winners

  • 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.

2015 Winners

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

2014 Winners

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

2013 Winners

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

2012 Winners

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

2011 Winners

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

2010 Winners

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

2009 Winners

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

2008 Winners

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

2007 Winners

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

2006 Winners

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

2005 Winners

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

2004 Winners (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