At the 25th Graduate Interdisciplinary Forum, newly renamed the Frank Einhellig Interdisciplinary Forum (IDF), one student and one faculty member were recognized for their hard work and dedication to science and students.
Dr. Matthew McKay
Dr. Matthew McKay, assistant professor of geology, was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Mentor at IDF.
McKay was nominated by students. After that, he outlined his mentoring strategy in a nomination packet and sought references from graduate students. McKay slyly remarked that it’s usually the other way around; his students typically solicit his reference.
“It’s an honor to be nominated by the students,” McKay said. “I hope this represents that they understand how much we care about their success, not only in their studies, but in their future careers.”
McKay spent most of the interview praising his students instead of sharing in his successes.
“Our students work really hard on research, teaching and serving the university,” McKay added. “They are our greatest resource in GGP.”
Kinzang Duba, a geospatial sciences graduate student, received the Outstanding Graduate Assistant – Research Assistant Award.
Duba was nominated by his adviser, Dr. Kevin Mickus, distinguished professor of geology.
To be considered for this award, Duba was nominated by Mickus. Duba then submited his roles and responsibilities, his curriculum vitae, and a letter of recommendation from another staff member. He asked Dr. Melida Gutierrez, professor of geology.
Duba said he feels very proud and thanks everyone that helped him along the way.
“I sincerely acknowledge Dr. Mickus — not only for this award but also for his unwavering support beyond the academic breadth,” Duba said. “Thank you Dr. Gutierrez and all other faculty.”