Training students in their area of scholarship is undoubtedly an important part of preparing them to transition into their professional lives. Duke faculty, however, go even further, proactively seeking out opportunities for their students to engage with senior colleagues, participate in national conferences and dialogues, and helping them to forge their own connections, build a foundation for future networking, and comfortably integrate into the larger community of scholars.


Martin Doyle, professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment

Student Perspectives

“He helps his graduate students make job contacts, writes detailed recommendation letters, sends e-mails and follows up with phone calls— basically, he does whatever it takes to help them land a job. ... When you need him to be your bulldog, he will.” 

“She encourages us to apply for conferences, publish papers, apply for grants and fellowships, and to share our research widely, and connects us to her vast network of colleagues and artist friends. ... She makes every effort to open lines of communication between her students and important contacts in the field.”

“An overwhelming number of scientists open their doors to me to discuss research simply because I am associated with her. She believes that a graduate student needs multiple channels for mentorship, and she uses all of her resources and her place of great esteem among her colleagues to provide those channels for us.”

“She has been particularly diligent about encouraging her students to develop professional contacts and participate in research opportunities," including participation in her research group, "which is made up of a large cadre of graduate students and young faculty members (i.e. former students) at various universities.”

“He is always looking for other collaborators to help mentor and teach his graduate students. He also keeps great company, so working with the people he suggests has been both easy and fruitful.”

“In the last few years, he has co-authored eight different publications with graduate students, with another four works in progress co-authored with current graduate students. I believe it is especially impressive that he has devoted such energy to collaborating with graduate students—many of whom are not his formal advisees.”

— Compiled from nomination letters for winners of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring