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Faculty Award

Faculty Award for Distinction in Mentoring Undergraduates in Research

Purpose – The Honors College and the Office of Undergraduate Research have developed a procedure to better recognize, reward and encourage faculty members who mentor undergraduate students in research, which includes creative endeavors (i.e., scholarship). Nominations for this award will be accepted through early March 2019. Nominations are accepted from any source - WVU College Deans, Department Chairs, faculty colleagues, and student researchers, including self-nomination. Nomination of a faculty member from several sources (e.g., multiple students, faculty colleagues or a combination thereof) tend to enhance the nomination. Outstanding nominees will be invited to submit supporting documentation. Awards will be made at the annual Honors College Recognition Ceremony in May.

What do we mean by "research"? Mentoring undergraduates in research and creative endeavors (i.e., scholarship) is different than mentoring students in their academic pursuits (i.e., academic advising). As defined by the Council on Undergraduate Research, undergraduate research is "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline". This process begins with discovery of disciplinary scholarship, is followed by scholarly inquiry (e.g., articulating questions and engaging in the process and practices) and culminates in creation of scholarship (e.g., creating an original scholarly project, communicating about the project).

Award: Students, staff, faculty, alumni and the public are invited to nominate faculty who exhibit the qualities of excellent research mentorship, including but not limited to:

  • Establishing a strong professional mentoring relationship with their student(s)
  • Acting as a role model for methods of inquiry or artistic expression in the chosen field of study and for the responsible and ethical conduct of research or creative activity
  • Demonstrating an ability to inspire students to pursue research or scholarly activity
  • Supporting the dissemination of student work through recognized professional outlets
  • Engaging students in all aspects of scholarship (discovery, inquiry and creation)

Eligibility: Any full-time tenure or non-tenure track West Virginia University faculty member who has not received this award in the past five (5) years.

Committee: Nominations will be reviewed and outstanding nominees will be invited to submit supporting documentation.

Award : Winner will receive a plaque and a small grant to be used for continued support of undergraduate research.

More Information? Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at and print out a one page flyer with the above information.

NominationsAll eligible nominations will be considered. Nominations must include a description of why the person should receive the award. For example, how has the nominee gone beyond his/her normal job responsibilities (beyond regular coursework/teaching responsibilities) to include undergraduates in research/creative work? How has inclusion of undergraduates in research impacted the students and/or the department?
Nominations for the 2019 award will open soon. Check back in early Feb. 2019: Please access  the link
2018 Award Winners
Dr. Fernando Lima (Department of Chemical Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources)
Dr. Edward Sabolsky (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources)

2017 Award Winners
Dr. Kirk Hazen (Department of English, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences)
Dr. Natalie Shook (Department of Psychology, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences)
2016 Award Winner

Dr. James E. Smith (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources)