Dr. Kelly Ferguson, head of the Perinatal and Early Life Epidemiology Group within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and graduate of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, received the NIEHS Mentor of the Year Award, which is voted on by members of the NIEHS Trainees Assembly.
“Despite being in the initial stages of her career, Dr. Ferguson has proven to be a great mentor, not only to myself, but to many other trainees as well,” said Dr. Stephani Kim, who nominated Dr. Ferguson.
Dr. Ferguson said she was thrilled by the unexpected honor. “I had no idea,” she said. “I thought this was something for people who have been mentoring for years or decades, and this is really my first class of mentees — so I was super surprised!”
Dr. Ferguson elaborated on her approach to mentoring: “I’m trying to acknowledge that my students may not necessarily want to have the same career trajectory as I do, and try to help them develop skills that will be useful in any subsequent activity, such as working in industry or doing more teaching or study management.”