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Graduate College to recognize excellence and impact at Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards

Honorees celebrated for making a difference in mentorship

Collage of faculty portraits.

(From left) Allan Colbern, Amy Markos, Cindi SturtzSreetharan and Arvind Varsani will all be honored as Outstanding Faculty Mentors at an annual award ceremony Feb. 29.

February 13, 2024

As members of the ASU community know, the value of having a mentor to guide you and push you toward achieving your goals is immeasurable.

In recognition of four such mentors — Arvind Varsani, Cindi SturtzSreetharan, Allan Colbern and Amy Markos — the Graduate College at Arizona State University will broadcast the 37th annual Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards from Old Main on the Tempe campus from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Arizona time, on Feb. 29.

Since its inception in 1987, the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards has honored 78 faculty members for their exceptional service to the graduate student and postdoctoral scholar communities. Students and postdoctoral fellows nominate the award recipients for their impact on their lives and the community, and awardees are recognized by one of their nominating students, who will introduce them at the ceremony.


Tune in live at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 29 by visiting ASU Live.

“We have many excellent graduate mentors at ASU. They diligently provide our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the insight, preparation and support they need to complete their degrees and succeed in their chosen careers. We have honored many outstanding mentors over the years and are so pleased to be inducting a new group this year,” said Lisa Anderson, associate dean of academic affairs at the Graduate College.

SturtzSreetharan, from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, was nominated in the Outstanding Doctoral Mentor category. She shared an aspect of her mentoring philosophy that has been a factor in her success:

“I focus on fostering rampant collaboration to both train students and facilitate the creation of resilient support networks that nurture opportunity and long-term safe spaces. My goal is not simply to have mentees gain skills, but for them to observe that fostering relationships can enhance the longevity and productivity of successful collaborations,” SturtzSreetharan said.

The Graduate College is proud to highlight the selflessness, dedication and hard work of these individuals who have gone above and beyond to help shape the future of the students they have mentored. 

The Outstanding Faculty Mentors for 2023–24 are:

  • Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor: Arvind Varsani, professor, School of Life Sciences and Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics.
  • Outstanding Doctoral Mentor: Cindi SturtzSreetharan, professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change.
  • Outstanding Master's Mentor: Allan Colbern, assistant professor, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
  • Outstanding Instructional Faculty Mentor: Amy Markos, clinical associate professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

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