Humphrey School News—May 9, 2017

Two Humphrey School Faculty Voted Outstanding Advisors and Mentors by University Grad Students

Two Humphrey School of Public Affairs faculty members received the 2016-2017 Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award presented by the Council of Graduate Students, Professional Student Government, and the Student Conflict Resolution Center.

The awards recognize Professor Joe Soss for his mentorship of PhD students, and David Wilsey, the director of the Master of Development Practice (MDP) program, for his work with master’s students.

The awards are given each year to faculty members who provide exceptional contributions to graduate education. It is the only university faculty award that is created, nominated and awarded by students.

Soss holds the Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the Humphrey School. His work in the Social Policy area focuses on the interplay of democratic politics, socioeconomic inequalities, and public policy. In addition to his seat at the Humphrey School, Soss holds teaching positions in the Departments of Political Science and Sociology.

In his nomination letter to the selection committee, Aaron Rosenthal, one of Soss’ advisees from the political science department, wrote that Soss demonstrates “a wonderful example of how a professor can remain civically engaged while enjoying academic success.”

As director of the MDP program, Wilsey also teaches courses in the Global Policy area, where his research and practice focuses on integration of economic development and natural resource conservation.

Both professors expressed gratitude for the opportunity to advise highly engaged students.

“Given that it comes from the grad students themselves, the award means a lot to me,” said Soss. “I was both surprised and honored to be selected.”

“Knowing that these students have worked with a number of teachers over the course of their careers, it’s humbling to be acknowledged in this way and encourages me to continue serving students as best I can,” said Wilsey.

In her nomination of Soss, Humphrey School PhD candidate AshLee Smith Garrett noted qualities that grad students University-wide hold in high regard for both Soss and Wilsey.

“The best advisors and mentors reach past the formal boundaries and get to know their students for who they are besides their research or career goals,” Garrett wrote. 

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