Undergraduate Mentor


The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence is pleased to sponsor an award designed to honor the practice of mentoring undergraduate scholarly activity. The award is intended to recognize demonstrated excellence in mentoring undergraduate researchers, to encourage mentoring relationships with undergraduate students, and to convey the campus' high regard for such contributions made by the faculty of the academic and research community. 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 undergraduate research and creative practice.
  • 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 recent research student and the third may be from a faculty colleague, advanced degree alumnus or other individual who can comment on the nominee’s qualifications.
  • Listing of mentored undergraduatesname, project, publications (designating as peer or non-peer reviewed) and current position of student.
  • Curriculum Vitae

** Please note: ONLY the above stated documents, combined into a single PDF, will be accepted as a completed nomination packet. No additional documents will be accepted. Please submit electronically to: csce@gvsu.edu 

Declaration Page

To download a Declaration Page please CLICK HERE

Evaluation Criteria

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

  • Significant contribution to advancing undergraduate research and scholarship on at GVSU
  • Demonstrated commitment to undergraduate research through specific examples such as peer-reviewed publications involving undergraduates; student presentations, showings, or performances
  • Evidence for the continuing success of mentored students in the research/creative endeavor (where the students are now)

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 electronic copy (pdf) of this form and all supporting materials to the CSCE office by November 1. Please submit to: csce@gvsu.edu 

Procedures for Administering the CSCE Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award

Each college may nominate a faculty member for this University-wide award. The recipient 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 Undergraduate Research 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


2018 Awardee

William Dickinson, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics

Joined Grand Valley State University in 2000

Most important to William Dickinson in mentoring students is ensuring students have an authentic research experience, from the selection of an original research problem to formal mathematical writing. Dickinson is equally accomplished as a mentor and as a national leader in promoting undergraduate research, notably through his leadership on three three-year National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). One student enthusiastically cited her REU experience as the catalyst for attending graduate school: “Now that I have become a graduate student, I can only hope that I will be able to find a research advisor who is as good a mentor as Dickinson.”


2018 Awardee


Merritt DeLano-Taylor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Joined Grand Valley State University in 2007

Merritt DeLano-Taylor’s mentorship philosophy illustrates that scholarship is an expression of fearless curiosity and professional ethics. While developing technical competencies in the lab, DeLano-Taylor’s students are pushed to think creatively and communicate effectively. A previous student noted working in DeLano-Taylor’s lab has thoroughly prepared him for a flourishing career in scientific research; this student is not alone, as 87 percent of DeLano-Taylor’s students have moved on to graduate and professional programs, all successfully working in their field of choice. A colleague noted, “Simply put, Grand Valley State University is a better institution because Merritt is here.”

Page last modified March 2, 2018