Heather L. Mair

Dr. Heather Mair, professor and associate chair for graduate studies, is the 2023 recipient of the Senior Graduate Mentorship Award, while Dr. Karla Boluk, associate professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies, is the 2023 recipient of the Mid-career Graduate Mentorship Award.

“Supervising graduate students is the most rewarding part of my job,” said Mair. “I love seeing the spark of light when they land on a project that means something to them. I most enjoy opportunities to learn and to be challenged together.” 

 Karla Boluk

"I enjoy mentoring my students in research design and analysis and see this as a critical role in our work as professors, but just as important is building relationships with students, supporting them outside of their studies and helping them build their networks," said Boluk.

Since 2020, the Faculty has highlighted faculty members who have made a meaningful impact in the mentorship of graduate students through the Graduate Mentorship Awards. 

The award criteria include fostering students’ skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, self-directed learning and communication, commitment to students’ personal and professional development, effective research planning, and providing a supportive environment that stimulates creativity, debate, engagement and progression toward career goals. 

“It’s also important to know that graduate supervision is a team effort – our graduate students benefit from excellent courses and training and the thesis committee members work collaboratively to support the student and to shape their development,” said Mair. “Receiving this award, to me, means our department is working well to support graduate learning and development and I’m very proud to be a part of that.” 

"I truly feel like I am a product of my environment," said Boluk. "I have learned so much from my colleagues, and I genuinely appreciate the reciprocal care my graduate students show me regularly."

The 2023 Emerging Graduate Mentorship Award goes to Kinesiology and Health Sciences’ Dr. Jason Au. 

A plaque will be established in the Burt Matthews Hall (BMH) foyer with engraved nameplates for this year’s award recipients, including the inaugural 2020 recipients: Michaela Devries-Aboud (Kinesiology and Health Sciences) and Katie Misener (Recreation and Leisure Studies), as well as the 2021 recipients: Kim Lopez (Recreation and Leisure Studies), Mark Ferro (School of Public Health Sciences) and John Hirdes (School of Public Health Sciences).