Mary Savina, Carleton College, Recognized as the 2013 Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor

October 16, 2013 08:00 AM
The Geosciences division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) annually recognizes an individual with the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. The awardee is an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and for maintaining a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research. CUR is pleased to announce Mary Savina, Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology at Carleton College, the 2013 recipient. The award will be formally presented at the Geological Society of America Meeting in Denver, CO in October.
Mary Savina has been involved in research and mentoring undergraduate students for the last thirty-five years. She has been effective at reaching underrepresented students and has incorporated service learning elements into the projects long before the current trends. Her longstanding excellence in creative undergraduate research mentoring was defined by a nominator as “deeply thoughtful and helpful, and nurturing.”She has discovered a potent formula for a “powerful pedagogy,” one in which her students have ownership of ideas, mastery of content, and are often informers for civic decision makers. As another nominee stated she has “a passion for undergraduate teaching and commitment to providing students with authentic and meaningful research experiences.”
Savina’s guidance does not end on graduation day; one nominator explained the importance of their mentoring relationship continuing after graduation, highlighting how she acted as trusted guide navigating a complex professional landscape. “After leaving Carleton, Mary continued to be one of the people I most trusted when I needed to make important professional decisions – where (and if) to go to graduate school, how to cope in an academic job, and how to be an effective teacher in different settings.” This service as a mentor and supporter of undergraduate students is critical to the success of the next generation.

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