2014 Mentor Awards
Byron A. Alexander Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award
Maria Carlson - Slavic Languages and Literatures
Left to right: Kristine Latta, Director of COGA; Ann Schofield, Interim Associate Dean for the Humanities; Maria Carlson.
During her 27 years with the University of Kansas, Maria Carlson has displayed an outstanding dedication to the both the academic and personal success of her students. She is known for her engaging courses and innovative mentoring practices. Students who nominated Carlson described assignments that challenge students to expand their “skills in genres beyond the research paper,” including writing “professional book reviews, encyclopedia articles, and response essays.” Outside of class, Carlson is known for having an open door and a clear interest in her students as individuals with unique needs. Not only does she create department colloquia that prepare students to better navigate the demands of a graduate career, but she also advises students on pursuing career options both within and outside of academia. She encourages her students to shape their graduate and long-term careers in line with their personal interests, values, and goals. Her students also fondly remember the mock conferences Carlson hosted to help first-time presenters prepare. Carlson “set up a room to look like a conference presentation – down to the notepads and wrapped candies – and invited other professors to come and watch, along with providing questions.” In spring of 2014, Professor Carlson retired from the University of Kansas, though she continues to mentor a final cohort of doctoral advisees. The impact of her leadership on issues of graduate education and professional development will benefit future generations of Slavic students.
John C. Wright Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award
Amy Rossomondo - Spanish and Portuguese
Left to right: Amy Rossomondo; Ann Schofield, Interim Associate Dean for the Humanities.
Amy Rossomondo is known for providing students with academic, professional, and personal support from the first time they visit campus up through their entrance into the job market. The students who nominated Dr. Rossomondo for this award emphasized her dedication to helping them craft graduate school experiences that best serve their personal goals while offering feedback and advice that strengthened their pedagogical skills and self-confidence as professionals. Rossomondo shows them that they are valued members of the department. One student states that Rossomondo creates “an environment of collaboration where the input of graduate students is always encouraged.” Aside from allowing students to participate in curriculum development for the department, Rossomondo also engages students in her own professional endeavors. Her students note that their opportunity to contribute to Acceso, a language instruction program created by Rossomondo that is used at KU and a number of other colleges and universities, has allowed them to explore and apply their own research interests and to grow as professionals. Through her guidance in their contributions to Acceso, introductions to other professionals in the field, outstanding assistance with preparation for conferences, advice in career planning, and a number of other supports she provides, Rossomondo’s students continually experience her investment in their success. One student notes that Rossomondo also exhibits this personal investment in more personal ways, including “a late night email the night before my defense to let me know she had finished reading my revised chapters and they were good; a reminder that I should eat, and probably sleep; a note to tell me she was proud of me.” Another student mirrors this appreciation for Rossomondo’s constant support, stating that “I am constantly reminded of the difference it makes when you have someone believe in you.”