Recognizing Outstanding Mentors

Graduate Osric Forrest (left), Dean Lisa Tedesco (center), Professor Patricia Bauer (right)

The recipients of the 2018 Eleanor Main Graduate Mentor Awards are Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Psychology Patricia Bauer and Osric Forrest, ‘18G. Established by the Laney Graduate School in 2015 and awarded annually during commencement celebrations, the awards recognize graduate faculty and graduate students who demonstrate mentorship excellence at Emory University. 

Osric Forrest, a 2018 graduate of the Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis doctoral program, credits his mentors for helping him unlock his potential. 

“I believe that great mentors have the ability to transform the trajectory of their mentees, which can remove boundaries and broaden horizons, especially for those students whose dreams have been limited by their personal circumstances," says Forrest. "Receiving this award is a testament to the great work of my many mentors who have inspired, motivated and supported my academic and personal development."

Faculty recipient Professor Patricia Bauer believes that providing students with a foundation of unwavering support is essential to mentorship. 

Says Bauer, “Receiving this award tells me that my students feel they have a strong base of support upon which to build their own, independent scholarly and research careers. And because we learn to mentor by being mentored, it suggests that students perceive that they have a record of positive mentoring, lessons from which they can invoke as they mentor their own students.” Lessons, Bauer says, she learned from her own mentors. “My mentors instilled in me an appreciation of science and the pursuit of a good question. They also instilled in me a deep and abiding commitment not just to training, but to education. I endeavor to provide the same perspective to my own students, one firmly rooted in recognition of the exceptional privilege enjoyed by those of us who work in higher education.”

The core of student success

Both Bauer and Forrest applaud the Laney Graduate School for celebrating individuals who model excellence through mentorship.

“Mentoring is one aspect of faculty life that defies quantification. There are no books or articles to count, no grant dollars to tally, and no bubble sheet scores to convey the perceived success of classroom instruction,” notes Bauer. “The fact that the LGS recognizes these efforts in such a high-profile manner tells all faculty that our endeavors do not go unnoticed.”

Forrest agrees. “It is significant that the Laney Graduate School recognizes the important role that mentorship plays and has cemented this by recognizing exemplars of both student and faculty mentors using the Eleanor Main Mentor Awards.  I have personally benefited from the mentorship of some amazing faculty and administrators at Emory, and it is heartwarming to know that Laney also values their role in inspiring students during their time at Emory.”

Honoring Dr. Eleanor Main

The mentor awards are named in honor of the late Eleanor C. Main, who joined the Emory faculty in 1969. During her time at Emory, Main served as chair of the Department of Political Science, director of the Division of Educational Studies, acting dean of Emory College, interim dean of the Laney Graduate School, associate dean of both the College and Laney Graduate School, and associate vice provost for graduate studies. She was also a recipient of the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award, which honors Emory faculty or staff who have significantly enriched the intellectual and civic life of the Emory community. 

Says Laney Dean Lisa Tedesco, “Dr. Main was an outstanding mentor to both faculty and students during her time at Emory. These awards honor her legacy and recognize those that have followed in her footsteps. Mentoring is a cornerstone of graduate education and a driving force for excellence, ensuring success of our students during their time at Emory and beyond. I am extremely proud to recognize Professor Bauer and Osric Forrest for raising the bar and setting the standard for exemplary mentorship.”