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Professors receive Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award


August 29, 2008

Douglas Kenrick and Duane Roen have been named ASU Outstanding Graduate Mentors for 2008-09.

The two ASU professors are the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh recipients of this award. The Graduate College will host a reception in their honor on September 18, inviting current and former students to participate in the celebration. 

“We had an extraordinary group of nominees for this award,” says Maria T. Allison, University Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate College. “Those nominated, and those finally selected as Outstanding Graduate Mentors, consistently demonstrated not only excellence in their scholarship and teaching, but also in their enormous commitment to the development and success of their students.  They have clearly impacted the lives of their students in significant ways.”

Duane Roen, a Professor of English, arrived at the ASU Tempe campus in 1995 and moved to the Polytechnic campus in 2004.  In addition to teaching graduate courses and serving on many college and department committees, he has served on 25 master’s and doctoral dissertation committees, conducts professional workshops nationally and for ASU’s Preparing Future Faculty, and helps students find the most satisfying career track. Nearly all of the graduate students whom he has mentored have also collaborated on written articles or book chapters with him, often as first authors. Roen and his students have also collaborated on conference presentations at regional and national conferences.

David E. Schwalm, Dean of the ASU School of Applied Arts and Sciences says that Roen “is the hardest working faculty member I have ever seen, anywhere. But no matter how busy he gets, he never loses his focus on his graduate students. It’s in his DNA.” “The greatest joys in my career have come from working with students to help them achieve their dreams,” says Roen. “Their successes are the best rewards that I could ever want.”

Douglas Kenrick’s tenure in the ASU Department of Psychology spans twenty-eight years. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses, presented at over 40 conventions, served on dozens of Master’s, Comprehensives, and Dissertation committees, and considers collaboration with students one of the key elements of mentoring. Of his more than 140 published papers, over 90 include graduate students as authors. He gets students fully involved in research from their arrival at ASU by encouraging them to tackle intellectually engaging topics. He also encourages each of his graduate students to develop his or her own team of undergraduate assistants. Students he has mentored frequently find jobs at prestigious universities after graduation.

“Like parenting, successful graduate mentoring requires different intellectual investments at different developmental phases,” write Kenrick. “When students finally master the basics of clear thinking, they face the most difficult steps – learning to communicate their ideas to journal editors, to grant panels, to curious undergraduates, and to journalists curious about the latest scientific findings (and each of these audiences wants them to speak in a different language).”

“Professor Kenrick is among our most popular graduate mentors, and is one of the major draws to the Social Psychology program at ASU.  His reputation alone recruits students, and then his true dedication to their success makes him a prized mentor,” says Keith Crnic, Foundation Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department.  “His students have tremendous success across many facets of their graduate careers, but none is so clear as is their success in publication and placement in outstanding jobs when they finish.”

“This year’s nominees demonstrated a very high level of dedication to the success of their students,” says Andrew Webber, Associate Vice Provost. “The impact that excellent mentoring can have on a graduate career was consistently affirmed by past and current students, who provided important input into the final selection of this years awardees.”

Read the full mentoring essay by each of the award winners, as well as statements from past winners, at the Graduate College website graduate.asu.edu/outstandingmentors.html.