Stuart McGill - Kinesiology
Stu’s commitment to his graduate students is perhaps best characterized as a mentor-colleague-friend triumvarite. This relationship starts on the first day in the lab and is ongoing, as students from 30 years ago who are now Full Professors, with long careers of independent mentorship behind them attest to the continued involvement of Stu in their lives as friend, colleague, and mentor.
Stu does not subscribe to a ‘one size fits all’ approach to graduate supervision. Individual accounts of how Stu allowed students to take risks, define their own projects, and develop their own ideas are inspiring. Stu enthusiastically takes on the responsibility to find new and novel ways to challenge and support each individual student. They variously describe his influence as fostering productivity while also exercising stewardship of their careers, conveying not only fundamentals of the area and how to think, but also how to communicate productively and how to be a good colleague. Stu is always quick to promote his students’ talents and to foster connections and collaborations from his extensive network to advance their work and careers.
His commitment to excellence in graduate supervision is especially remarkable considering his other professional commitments. He served as department chair for six years, and is also a much sought after research and clinical lecturer who is often called to venues around the world to share his transformative ideas. His success at being able to provide a stimulating and supportive individualized training experience even under these incredibly challenging conditions is obvious both from the comments of the students, and from the record of their tangible successes and productivity. Many of the student letters include comments that acknowledge extraordinary efforts that Stu has made in order to provide opportunities that have proved to be transformative to their projects, their scholarly development, and their careers.
Stu’s current and former trainees express that they regard him as a ‘role-model’ and as someone who they aspire to emulate. There is perhaps no higher or more meaningful compliment to receive from trainees, nor better way to summarize Stuart McGill’s three decades of unmitigated success in fostering mentor-colleague-friend relationships.