2012 OSCAR Mentoring Award Winners

Dan Cox Shannon Davis Cathy Tompkins Adam Winsler Terry Zawacki

(Above from left to right) Dan Cox, Shannon Davis, Cathy Tompkins, Adam Winsler, and Terry Zawacki.

Congratulations to the 2012 OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award recipients!


There was an amazing pool of nominees for the OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award, but these faculty emerged based on their excellence in mentoring undergraduate students on their research and creative projects, and by fostering a culture of student scholarship at Mason!

Dan Cox (School of Systems Biology and the Krasnow Institute)

Successful mentors effect change in the lives of their students.

My goal is to practically demonstrate to students that they are capable of making significant and novel contributions to research even at a very early age.


-Excerpts from Dr. Cox's mentoring statement

Shannon Davis (Department of Sociology and Anthropology)

I am a firm believer that one of my responsibilities as a faculty member is to provide opportunities to undergraduates interested in learning about the research process that they too have a chance to build a social science research career.

Mentoring an undergraduate is an intense experience, as the student is developing their self-confidence and intellectual voice under your guidance.

-Excerpts from Dr. Davis' mentoring statement

Catherine Tompkins (Department of Social Work)

No matter how often I hear that a student sees me as a mentor, I feel very proud and I always let the student know what I have learned from them as well.

Balancing an internship with coursework and personal obligations (often times a paying job as well) can feel impossible for students at times; knowing that someone has made it through and is doing something similar to what the student is inspiring to can be empowering.

-Excerpts from Dr. Tompkins' mentoring statement

Adam Winsler (Department of Psychology)

Mentoring undergraduate students and bringing them into the culture of scholarship is one of the great joys of my job.

I create a culture of scholarship in my research lab by having weekly lab group meetings consisting of PhD students, MA students, and undergraduates all working together and helping each other, sharing and presenting their ideas and getting feedback, engaging jointly in scholarly discussion, and critically reading and reviewing studies.

-Excerpts from Dr. Winsler's mentoring statement

Terry Zawacki (Department of English)

Mentoring is not a role one plays but rather a way one engages authentically with a student’s scholarly aspirations.

I think of myself as a co-researcher or as someone who’s traveling alongside the student to guide the research, and always as someone who learns as much as she teaches. I’m pleased when students think of me as a mentor, but, for me, what’s been most rewarding is to have accompanied them on their scholarly journey.

-Excerpts from Dr. Zawacki's mentoring statement

2012 Nominees

Cattaneo, Lauren (Department of Psychology)
Christensen, Julie (Department of Modern & Classical Languages)
Cortes, Nelson (Division of Health & Human Performance)
Fernandez, Gina (Department of Biopsychology)
Flinn, Jane (Department of Neuroscience)
Gerber, Naomi Lynn (Center for the Study of Chronic Illness & Disability)
Gliozzi, Mario (School of Physics, Astronomy, & Computational Science)
Ihara, Emily (Department of Social Work)
Kaplan, Seth (Department of Psychology)
Kashdan, Todd (Department of Psychology)
Kelly, Mills (Global Affairs Program)
King, Eden (Department of Psychology)
Liner, Barry (Department of Civil, Environmental, & Infrastructure Engineering)
Maulden, Patricia (School of Conflict Analysis & Resolution)
Rabin, Lisa (Department of Modern & Classical Languages)
Rangwala, Huzefa (Department of Computer Science)
Richards, Kathy (College of Health & Human Services)
Robbins, Suzanne (Department of Public & International Affairs)
Shaw, Tyler (Department of Psychology)
Shehu, Amarda (Department of Computer Science)