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Graduate Mentor Award


The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence’s Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award was established to recognize and encourage outstanding mentoring of graduate students by GVSU faculty members. Recipients will have direct and significant impact and involvement with graduate students, outstanding commitment and effectiveness as a mentor of graduate students, been innovative in mentoring, and have demonstrated unusual effort to provide consistent mentoring of graduate students during the course of their careers at GVSU.   In addition to the honor of being designated a CSCE Distinguished Faculty Mentor, recipients of the Award are given an award of $500.  Nominations for the Award are solicited from deans, department chairs, faculty colleagues, alumni, and current research students.


To view or print the PDF version of this information: CLICK HERE


All tenured and tenure-track faculty members 

Application Materials

Information to be included with the nominations:

  • Completed Declaration Page
  • Statement of mentoring philosophy from nominee in regards to graduate research.
  • Three letters of support from colleagues who have knowledge of the nominee’s ability as a teacher/scholar.  One letter of support shall be from the department chair of the nominee’s unit, one shall be from a current graduate student and the third may be from a graduate student, a faculty colleague, advanced degree alumnus or other individual who can comment on the nominee’s qualifications.
  • Listing of mentored graduate studentsname, project, publications (designating as peer or non-peer reviewed) and current position of student.
  • Curriculum Vitae

Declaration Page

To download a Declaration Page please CLICK HERE


Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria are used in nominations and evaluations of nominees:

  • Extraordinary commitment and effectiveness as a mentor of graduate students including activities such as serving as major professor, minor professor, Graduate Council Representative, committee member, and so forth.
  • Demonstrated record of graduate student success in graduate school and in their professional career (e.g. scholarships/fellowships, awards, placement, career achievements, scholarly works).
  • Demonstrated commitment to creating an environment supportive of graduate student success. 


Process and Timeline


Nominators: Each college sets its own internal deadline for the initial review. The CSCE is not involved in this part of the process. Contact your dean’s office to inquire about internal deadlines for nominations and materials to be submitted to the college dean’s office for review.

Dean’s Office: The candidate’s dean’s office must submit the original and an electronic copy (pdf) of this form and all supporting materials to the CSCE office by November 1.


Procedures for Administering the CSCE Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award

Each college may nominate a faculty member for this University-wide award. The recipients will be recognized as a distinguished mentor. The award selection procedure is as follows:

The Faculty Award Committee for each college will select one faculty member (except CLAS, which selects up to seven, and Seidman College of Business, which selects up to two) to be considered for the award. Committee members will be selected by the dean. Committee membership will be a minimum of three faculty:

Nominations for the award may come from college dean, department chair, and faculty colleagues. Self-nominations are not accepted.

All full-time faculty members who have been employed at GVSU a minimum of 3 years are eligible.

Only one award will be made each year. The recipient will receive $500. 

An individual faculty member may not receive the award more than once.

The recipient is selected by the Research and Development Committee with representation from the Graduate Council.

The CSCE will forward the names of recipients to the provost and relevant dean by December 15. The dean will inform the recipient of his or her selection. The CSCE will inform nominees who are not selected. 


Past Awardees

To view all past award winners CLICK HERE



2015 Awardee

Aaron Lowen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
Joined Grand Valley State University in 2003

Aaron Lowen has served since 2009 on the Grand Valley Graduate Council, including two years as the vice chair. In addition, he was chair of Seidman’s MBA committee and is the director of the Full-time Integrated MBA (FIMBA) program. He is also one of Grand Valley’s most effective economics instructors. His record of success as teacher and mentor in the FIMBA program is especially remarkable: his students have a 100-percent graduation rate, a 97-percent professional employment placement rate, and an average financial payback period of less than three years. It is no wonder that Lowen’s colleagues view him as “a thought leader on graduate education,” that others who work in the graduate programs seek out his views, and that graduate students find him a trusted and skillful mentor.