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Jessica Bolton

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Ph.D. Candidate (Adviser: Staci Bilbo)
Psychology and Neuroscience



Jessica Bolton has mentored a number of undergraduate students during her time at Duke, primarily through summer research opportunities offered within her own department and through programs such as Bass Connections. While at Duke, she has been named a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a James B. Duke Fellow. In addition, she has received several awards for poster presentations. Bolton has also participated in two professional development programs offered through The Graduate School—Preparing Future Faculty and the Certificate for College Teaching.

In Her Words

“At the end of the mentoring experience I have with my undergrads, I want them to walk away with, No. 1, self-confidence. I start with them as novices and it’s really great to watch them grow to the point where they are confident in their own abilities. … I also just want them to have an appreciation for the scientific research process. I hope it can help inform their career options and at least in some way give them an understanding of inference and deduction from data, which can help in any career they go into.”

In Their Words

Excerpts from Bolton’s Nominations

“I always tell incoming students and even new postdocs to model themselves after Jessica. I am constantly impressed by her patience, energy, and generosity towards her students.”

“From the moment I set foot in the Bilbo Lab, Jessica spent a great amount of time supporting my growth as a student researcher, making herself available to me at almost all times of the day.”

“I lost count of the drafts and revisions we sent back and forth to one another. Even as the page count exceeded 50 by the end the year, she still read through every page—from the abstract through the conclusion—and provided me with more than ample feedback ...”

“As a person, Jessica is teeming with positive energy and warmth that she infuses into all of her interactions.”