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The CUR Biology Division Mentor Awards honor biology mentors for their long-term efforts in supervising undergraduate research (UGR) students. Individuals may be self-nominated or be nominated by CUR Institutional or Institutional-Enhanced members, individual CUR members of the Biology Division, or the mentor's research students. Faculty mentoring interdisciplinary projects are eligible as long as such projects involve a major biological component. Awards will be made in three categories: Early Career, Mid-Career, and Advanced Career. 
  • Early Career:  Scientists with 1-9 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers. Although this generally corresponds to assistant professors, the committee recognizes that many mentors are not in tenure- track positions and that some scientists begin significant undergraduate research mentoring even before they obtain a tenure-track position.
  • Mid-Career: Scientists with 10-19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.
  • Advanced Career: Scientists with more than 19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.
Nomination Process, Application Process, and Deadlines
For nominations made by students:
  • To nominate a mentor, students must fill out this Nomination Form.
  • The mentor will be contacted to determine if the nomination is accepted. If it is, the student will then be contacted to provide a nomination letter, which will also count as one of two required letters of recommendation from undergraduate researchers. The mentor nominee will be responsible for submitting all other materials outlined in the "required application materials". The deadline for student nomination form is March 1, 2022; the deadline for student nomination letters is April 15, 2022.
For Colleague and Self Nominations: Complete the required application materials outlined below by April 15, 2022
Required Application Materials. The following application materials are required to be submitted by all mentor nominees. The deadline for submission of these materials is April 15, 2022:
  • Complete Institutional Profile Survey and Nominee Information on this form
  • Nomination Letter that can speak firsthand about the nominee’s mentoring of UGR students (two-page limit; 1 inch margins, Times New Roman 12pt. font), written by the colleague nominator or the nominee (for student- or self-nominations). The letter should explain (a) the nominee’s personal commitment to research mentoring, (b) how the nominee individualizes mentoring strategies to fit student needs and limitations, and (c) how the nominee's mentoring activity promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in UR. Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the nominee’s breadth of mentoring activities and/or mentoring philosophy and style is welcome. 
  • Nominee CV tailored to showcase mentoring activities, which should provide information regarding cumulative mentoring activities involving UGR students (two-page limit, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman 12 pt. font). Please indicate the number of students mentored and over what time period, all peer-reviewed publications with undergraduate co-authors, presentations with undergraduate coauthors (noting if they were at regional or national venues), grant application submissions by your undergraduate students, student awards or honors for research, and career/graduate school outcomes for your research students.
  • Student Letters – Two recommendation letters from UGR students who were mentored by the nominee within the past two to ten years (two-page limit, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman 12 pt font). Students should explain in their letter (a) how their mentor showed commitment to helping them achieve in areas of their life that mean the most to them (i.e., academic, career, or personal growth) and (b) how their mentor modeled positive behaviors and successful performance.  Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the mentor’s work on behalf of the student is welcome.

Submit all information above in a single PDF file that includes: institutional profile survey information, nomination letter, nominee CV, and two student letters to this form by April 15, 2022. 


The CUR Biology Councilors will review the completed applications and will choose the winners. Recipients will be notified in May 2022.
Questions regarding the application process may be addressed to Jessica Clark, chair of the CUR Biology Division Mentor Award Committee or

2022 Award Recipients

Jaqueline_Jones 20160601HinsaLeasure28 20220608.Lindgren,Clark


Jacqueline Jones, PhD
Troy University
2022 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Early Career)

Hinsa-Leasure, PhD

Grinnell College
2022 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Mid Career)

Clark Lindgren, PhD
Grinnell College
2022 Biology Division
Faculty Mentor Award
(Advanced Career)

2021 Award Recipients

•    Misty Thomas (assistant professor, North Carolina A&T State University, early-career awardee)
•    Mark Emerson (associate professor, The City College of New York, CUNY, early-career awardee)
•    Maryann Herman (associate professor, St. John Fisher College, mid-career awardee)

2020 Award Winners

•    Anne Brown (assistant professor, Virginia Tech, early-career awardee)
•    Christopher Lassiter (professor of biology and director of undergraduate research, Roanoke College, mid-career awardee)
•    Terry Hill (professor, Rhodes College, advanced-career awardee)

2019 Award Winners

•    Jessica Malisch (asst professor of physiology, St. Mary’s College of MD, early-career awardee)
•    Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje (professor of biology, St. Cloud State University, mid-career awardee)
•    Amelia Ahern-Rindell (assoc professor of biology, University of Portland, advanced career awardee)

2017 Award Winners
  • Dr. Rachelle Belanger, associate professor and assistant chair of biology at University of Detroit Mercy (early-career awardee).  
  • Dr. Amit Dhingra, associate professor of genomics and biotechnology at Washington State University (mid-career awardee).  
  • Dr. William (Bill) Ensign, professor of biology in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Kennesaw State University (advanced-career awardee).  

2016 Award Winners

  • Dr. Gina Lamendella, assistant professor of biology at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, was selected as the outstanding early-career mentor in the CUR Biology division for 2016.  
  • Dr. Ryan Bavis, the Helen A. Papaioanau Professor of Biological Sciences at Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and currently chair of the Department of Biology, is the recipient of the mid-career mentor award.  

2015 Award Winners

  • Dr. Sara O’Brien, assistant professor of biology at Radford University in Radford, VA, was selected as the outstanding early-career mentor in the CUR Biology division for 2015.  
  • Dr. Olav Rueppell, professor of biology at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, was selected as the outstanding mid-career outstanding mentor for 2015.