MASA Call for Submissions: Graduate Student Mentor Award 2020

Dear Friends,

It’s that time of the year again when the Medical Anthropology Student Association, with support of the Society for Medical Anthropology, would like to recognize excellence in graduate student mentorship. Please see the Call for Submissions below. Please circulate it in your departments and professional networks. Nominations are due April 1. (Don’t worry, I’ll nudge you all again between now and then.)

Dick Powis



Call for Submissions

2020 MASA Graduate Student Mentor Award

Deadline: April 1, 2020


The MASA Graduate Student Mentor Award recognizes excellence in graduate student mentorship, and is aimed at senior or mid-career scholars who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to teaching and mentorship throughout their careers, particularly those who have taken the time to successfully guide their MA and PhD students through their research and the thesis or dissertation writing process.


Previous recipients of the MASA Graduate Student Mentorship Award


Lesley Sharp (2019)

Joan Stevenson (2018)

Kimberly Theidon (2017)

Charles L. Briggs (2016)

Janelle Taylor (2015)

Juliet McMullin (2014)

Marcia Inhorn (2013)

Peter Brown (2012)

Frances Barg (2011)

Mary-Jo DelVecchio-Good and Byron J. Good (2010)

Carole Browner (2009)

Joe Dumit (2008)

Lenore Manderson (2007)

Mac Marshall (2006)


Attributes to Consider

  • Communicates clearly and supportively with students and offers consistent, positive guidance; provides timely and productive feedback on written work
  • Creates a friendly, encouraging and academically challenging environment; makes an effort to teach medical anthropology in innovative and effective ways
  • Encourages students to submit abstracts of their own at conferences, write and submit their own work to journals, teach well and value teaching, and begin to function on their own in those public arenas that include medical anthropology
  • Has a good track record of retaining students: remaining on committees, retaining advisees, and graduating a good proportion of their advisees
  • Inspires students to pursue their own research, teaching, and advocacy goals in medical anthropology
  • Helps students connect with other professionals in their field outside of their own departments and helps familiarize them with the unwritten rules of their professional community
  • Steps back and allows students to learn from their own mistakes; lets them step forward on their own and begin making their own decisions; lets them define and take appropriate risks
  • Models professionalism in the classroom, in the office, at conferences, on social media, and in all public and private interactions
  • Acknowledges and is sensitive to the unique challenges that some students face, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach to advising


Nomination Procedures and Application Materials

A minimum of three letters of nomination should be from current and/or former students outlining the ways in which the candidate has been a strong mentor, advisor, and/or teacher. Additional letters may also be submitted by junior colleagues whom the candidate has mentored; however, this is not a requirement. Each letter should consider the above criteria and address any other attributes or practices that have led to supportive, successful mentoring. Nominations for the faculty mentor award will remain open for three years for consideration by the award committee.



Nomination and support letters will be accepted until the deadline of April 1, 2020. Please send all nomination letters to Dick Powis at The award recipient will be honored during the SMA Business Meeting and Award Ceremony at the AAA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri in November.