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Mentoring Awards

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The Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards

Call for Nominations

OUR requests nominations for the Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards. These awards serve to recognize faculty that exemplify UWF's commitment to the undergraduate research experience and convey the University's high regard for faculty contributions outside of the traditional classroom.

Timeline (2023-2024)

Call for nominations: Friday, December 8, 2023

Deadline for submission of nomination packets: Monday, January 29, 2024

Award Recipients Announced at Honors Convocation: Friday, March 22, 2024

Nominations will be submitted by the department chairs, associate deans, and/or college deans. Nominations must include the following:

  1. Nomination form completed by nominating Dean/Associate Dean/Chair.
  2. Two-page vita highlighting undergraduate research mentoring activities while at UWF.
  3. List of mentees, including name, dates, project title, and current position, if possible.
  4. List of publications and presentations with undergraduate student authors and student research awards, honors, or scholarships. It is suggested that you provide this information via the Publications Presentions Scholarly Template Form.
  5. One-page narrative from the nominee to include discussion of mentoring philosophy, types of research and scholarship with context from the conventions of the discipline, and how s/he serves as a role model for building productive and transformative student-mentor relationships within his/her department, college, and/or discipline community. A focus of the narrative should be on the relationship between the mentor and his/her mentees.
  6. A response from the nominee to the following prompt: Please discuss the effort that it takes in your discipline to involve students in research as well as the breadth of different research topics/’projects in which your undergraduate students engage.
  7. Three letters of support
    • One from the nominating chair/dean with an emphasis on the nominee's contribution to the department, college, or field.
    • Two from current or former student mentees. These can be solicited by the nominating Dean or Chair or by the nominee. Alternatively, OUR can contact mentees to request a letter of support. Please send names and current contact information for at least three mentees in order of preference to no later than January 18, 2024.

All nomination material will be submitted by the nominating Chair/Dean as one nomination packet. Application materials should be completed by the nominating Chair/Dean, with assistance from the nominee.

Nomination materials should be submitted via the Qualtrics form below:

2024 OUR Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards Application

Alternatively, if you prefer not to use the Qualtrics form, complete nomination packets can be emailed directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research at

OUR is pleased to open the call for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards nominations. Nominations from Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Chairs are requested. These awards serve to recognize faculty that exemplify UWF's commitment to the undergraduate research experience and convey the University's high regard for faculty contributions outside of the traditional classroom.

Award recipient's records should include a demonstration of mentoring undergraduate student research and scholarship that results in research "end products," such as peer-reviewed publications with student co-authors, student presentations, or performances. In addition to basic discipline skills, these accomplished mentors also contribute to student's professional development and success beyond graduation. Finally, award recipients should serve as role models to other faculty on how best to support research and scholarship on campus.

We anticipate making two awards (one Early Career Award for faculty with fewer than seven years in an academic setting and one Senior Career Award for faculty with seven or more years in an academic setting, including at least four years at UWF) of $1,500 (before tax). Awards will be presented to recognize exemplary undergraduate research mentoring, focusing on the mentoring relationship. Award candidates must be nominated by a College Dean Associate/Assistant Dean or a Department Chair.

Nomination/Application Deadline: Monday, January 29, 2024

The selection committee will include the Director of OUR, and at least one faculty member from each college or school. Evaluations and discussions by the committee will highlight mentoring activities included on the Mentor Award Nomination Review Rubric. The Director of OUR will make final decisions.

Award recipients will be announced at Honors Convocation 2024 (Friday, March 22, 2024).


Early Career Award: Dr. Samantha Seals, Mathematics and Statistics

Senior Career Award: Dr. Tanay Kesharwani, Chemistry

Director’s Choice Award: Dr. Frank Gilliam, Biology


Early Career Award: Dr. Jeff Simpson, Movement Sciences and Health

Senior Career Award: Valerie George, Art, and Design

Director’s Choice Award: Dr. Rodney Guttmann, Biology


Early Career Award: Dr. Susan Piacenza, Biology

Senior Career Award: Dr. Timothy Royappa, Chemistry

Director’s Choice Award: Willie Tubbs, Communication


Early Career Award: Dr. Phillip Schmutz, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Senior Career Award: Dr. Jane Caffrey, Biology & Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation

Director's Choice Award: Dr. Jamin Wells, History


Early Career Award: Carrie Fonder, Art

Senior Career Award: Dr. Karen Molek, Chemistry


Early Career Awards: Dr. Peter Memiah, Public Health; Dr. Alexis Janosik, Biology

Senior Career Award: no awards given in this category


Early Career Award: Dr. Tanay Kesharwani, Chemistry

Senior Career Award: Dr. Jason Ortegren, Earth and Environmental Science