Dr. Richard Van Emmerik of the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences was one of six people named Faculty Mentor of the Year Award for 2015 at the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. The annual meeting, which took place this year in Arlington, VA from October 29 to November 1, is the largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars in the country.
[Photo: Dr. Van Emmerik accepting his award at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Arlington, VA. From left: Dr. Van Emmerik, presenter Dr. Ken Pepion, director of the bridges to the professoriate programs and services at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, and Mr. Luis Rosado]
The nominations for this award are submitted by doctoral candidates who feel their mentor has been central to their professional and personal development based on the following criteria: intellectual leadership, respect for the doctoral candidate’s interests and goals, advocacy for the student, guidance in teaching and research, and helping secure financial support for graduate study and research.
Mr. Luis Rosado, a doctoral candidate in kinesiology, nominated Dr. Van Emmerik for the award. Mr. Rosado is a member of Dr. Van Emmerik’s Motor Control Lab at UMass Amherst. The lab researches posture and locomotion in humans, especially how it relates to performance in soldiers and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
“I nominated Dr. Van Emmerik for many reasons. First, he fosters a diverse and inclusive environment in his laboratory. In the current tense racial climate of our country, acknowledging allies of diversity is just as important as exposing those that work against it. Secondly, he is able to swallow pride and suspend ego in order to facilitate better communication between himself and his doctoral students,” says Mr. Rosado.
“It was a great honor and very special to receive this award,” says Dr. Van Emmerik. “Many of us receive accolades for achievements in research, but this one on teaching and mentoring a diverse student body is a nice recognition for all the work and effort we put into guiding and educating our students.”