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Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award

The Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Awards recognize tenured faculty from any discipline who are outstanding mentors of doctoral students, who support their intellectual, creative, scholarly, and professional growth, and foster a culture of intellectual engagement in which they thrive.

General Information


Tenured faculty members in any discipline may be nominated for these awards. Particular attention is given to nominations of faculty in the biological and health sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and social sciences. Faculty in the humanities and arts are recognized for mentoring excellence by the D’Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

Nominees should have a sustained record of mentoring and advising doctoral students and be active in the direction of dissertations. They should demonstrate an extraordinary generosity of spirit in fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth of their students at the highest level, and foster a culture of intellectual engagement in which they thrive.

Number of Awards

Five awards in the amount of $1,500.

Source of Nominations

Nominations may be submitted by deans, directors, department/program heads, promotion or award committees, or individual faculty members.

Selection Process

A committee of faculty who are recognized as outstanding mentors will review nominations and submit recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final selection. Recipients will be notified in the winter term and awards will be formally presented at a ceremony.


The nomination deadline is 5:00 p.m., Monday, January 24, 2022.

For more information contact:

Honors and Awards
Telephone: (734) 615-0255

Guidelines for Preparing Nominations

As described below, a nomination dossier must include a cover sheet with contact information, a nominating letter, and curriculum vitae. Incomplete nomination dossiers cannot be reviewed. The Graduate School will add to each nomination dossier a dissertation committee service report and the Registrar’s Teaching Evaluation “Instructor Report” that tabulates quantitative data only.

The online nomination dossier may be set up by a U-M faculty or staff member. Others may be given login access to the site as needed. The nomination system may be accessed as often as needed in order to complete the nomination dossier. All materials must be uploaded in Adobe PDF format.

Cover Sheet

Complete the online cover sheet with all information requested for both the nominee and the nominator—not the administrator who may have initiated the dossier.

Nominating Letter

As selection committee members represent a range of disciplines and may not be familiar with the nominee’s field, describe the nominee’s skills and dedication as a mentor in a way that conveys their significance to those not acquainted with the field. Given the number of engaged faculty, the letter should explain why the nominee’s particular contributions to mentoring are exceptional and deserving of this honor. Letters should discuss, for example, the nominee’s mentoring style, how the nominee mentors students in diverse career paths, the extent to which the nominee mentors students in teaching, and how the nominee mentors students in their professional development. The letter may incorporate quotations from former and current students, peers and faculty with whom the nominee has co-taught.

The letter may be no longer than 2,000 words. A new letter may be submitted for re-nominations to replace the earlier letter, or an addendum may be submitted to update the dossier.

Letters should show how the nominee:

  • Models an impressive record of excellence in research and/or creative work, teaching skills, academic and professional integrity, publication or artistic presentation, and the ability to obtain funding
  • Ensures that students master the key content and skills of their discipline
  • Attracts students to Michigan and to his or her field of study
  • Promotes successful completion of students’ graduate work and degree programs
  • Creates a rigorous and supportive environment for scholarship, research, and/or artistic production
  • Maintains accessibility by providing consistently open lines of communication with students
  • Provides students with the confidence, encouragement, and resources necessary to take full advantage of academic and professional opportunities
  • Integrates students into the broader culture of the discipline
  • Collaborates with other faculty in building stimulating intellectual cultures in which students thrive
  • Advances and enriches students’ long-term professional development—whatever career path the student may choose
  • Contributes generally to graduate education at the University of Michigan

Curriculum Vitae

Provide the nominee’s current c.v. Please include placement information for students whose dissertation committees the nominee has chaired during the past fifteen years.


Recipients of the Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award


  • Yan Chen, Daniel Kahneman Collegiate Professor of Information, Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research
  • Xuming He, Harry Clyde Carver Collegiate Professor of Statistics
  • Charles Shipan, J. Ira and Nicki Harris Professor of Social Science, Professor of Political Science, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Michele Swanson, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School and Adjunct Professor of Curriculum Support, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Lucretia Monique Ward, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology


  • Sarah Burgard, Professor of Sociology
  • Cleopatra Caldwell, Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • Michael Flynn, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • George Garcia, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Melanie Sanford, Moses Gomberg Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, Arthur F Thurnau Professor


  • Fatma Müge Göçek, Professor of Sociology
  • Brian A. Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Economics
  • Adam J. Matzger, Charles G. Overberger Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
  • Bethany B. Moore, Galen B. Toews M.D. Collegiate Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
  • Vanessa Sih, Professor of Physics


  • Brian Coppola, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry
  • Barbra Meek, Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Linguistics
  • Sara Pozzi, Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Professor of Physics
  • Anna Stefanopoulou, William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Alice Telesnitsky, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology


  • Jennifer J. Linderman, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Miriam H. Meisler, Myron Levine Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Human Genetics and Neurology
  • Suzanne M. Moenter, Fred J. Karsch Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • John Montgomery, Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor in the Department of Chemistry
  • Lutgarde M. Raskin, Altarum/ERIM Russell O’Neal Professor of Environmental Engineering


  • Allen Hicken, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Michael Imperiale, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
  • Cagliyan Kurdak, Professor of Physics
  • Dale Ulrich, Professor of Movement Sciences


  • Mark Banaszak Holl, Professor of Biophysics, Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Victor Li, E. Benjamin Wylie Collegiate Professor of Civil Engineering, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
  • David Neuhoff, Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Stephanie Rowley, Professor of Psychology
  • Elizabeth Wingrove, Professor of Political Science, Professor of Women’s Studies


  • Roy Clarke, Marcellus L. Wiedenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics
  • John Jackson, M. Kent Jennings Collegiate Professor of Political Science
  • Anna Mapp, Edwin Vedejs Collegiate Professor of Chemistry
  • Shuichi Takayama, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering


  • Gerald Davis, Wilbur K. Pierpont Professor of Management and Professor of Sociology
  • Sioban Harlow, Professor of Epidemiology
  • Lori Isom, Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Daniel Klionsky, Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences, Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Ronald Koenig, Professor of Internal Medicine


  • Jeffrey Fessler, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Radiology
  • Lorraine Gutierrez, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Social Work
  • Rachel Kaplan, Samuel Trask Dana Professor of Environment and Behavior, Professor of Natural Resources, and Professor of Psychology
  • James Morrow, Professor of Political Science and Research Professor, Center for Political Studies


  • Sally Camper, Human Genetics
  • Carol Fierke, Chemistry
  • Howard Kimeldorf, Sociology
  • Ormond MacDougald, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Theodore Norris, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


  • Mary Corcoran, Public Policy & Political Science
  • Ruth Dunkle, Social Work
  • Joseph Krajcik, Education
  • Duncan Steel, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Earl Werner, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


  • Margaret Gnegy, Pharmacology
  • Theresa Lee, Psychology
  • Karin Martin, Sociology and Women’s Studies
  • Bradford Orr, Physics
  • James Wight, Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Robert Franzese, Political Science
  • Carol Loveland-Cherry, Nursing
  • Mark Mizruchi, Sociology
  • Michael Morris, Chemistry
  • Beverly Rathcke, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Jessica Schwartz, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology


  • David Engelke, Biological Chemistry
  • Mike Woodroofe, Leonard J Savage Professor of Statistics
  • Demosthenis Teneketzis, EECS
  • Rosemary Sarri, School of Social Work, Center for Political Studies, ISR
  • Bobbi Low, SNRE


  • Kate Barald, Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Mark Meyerhoff, Chemistry
  • Philip Savage, Chemical Engineering
  • Norbert Schwarz, Psychology
  • Lynn Walter, Geological Sciences