Graduate Mentor Award


The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence’s Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award was established to recognize and encourage outstanding mentoring of graduate students by GVSU faculty members. Recipients will have direct and significant impact and involvement with graduate students, outstanding commitment and effectiveness as a mentor of graduate students, been innovative in mentoring, and have demonstrated unusual effort to provide consistent mentoring of graduate students during the course of their careers at GVSU.   In addition to the honor of being designated a CSCE Distinguished Faculty Mentor, recipients of the Award are given an award of $500.  Nominations for the Award are solicited from deans, department chairs, faculty colleagues, alumni, and current research students.


To view or print the PDF version of this information: CLICK HERE


All tenured and tenure-track faculty members 

Application Materials

Information to be included with the nominations:

  • Completed Declaration Page
  • Statement of mentoring philosophy from nominee in regards to graduate research.
  • Three letters of support from colleagues who have knowledge of the nominee’s ability as a teacher/scholar.  One letter of support shall be from the department chair of the nominee’s unit, one shall be from a current graduate student and the third may be from a graduate student, a faculty colleague, advanced degree alumnus or other individual who can comment on the nominee’s qualifications.
  • Listing of mentored graduate studentsname, project, publications (designating as peer or non-peer reviewed) and current position of student.
  • Curriculum Vitae

Declaration Page

To download a Declaration Page please CLICK HERE


Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria are used in nominations and evaluations of nominees:

  • Extraordinary commitment and effectiveness as a mentor of graduate students including activities such as serving as major professor, minor professor, Graduate Council Representative, committee member, and so forth.
  • Demonstrated record of graduate student success in graduate school and in their professional career (e.g. scholarships/fellowships, awards, placement, career achievements, scholarly works).
  • Demonstrated commitment to creating an environment supportive of graduate student success. 


Process and Timeline


Nominators: Each college sets its own internal deadline for the initial review. The CSCE is not involved in this part of the process. Contact your dean’s office to inquire about internal deadlines for nominations and materials to be submitted to the college dean’s office for review.

Dean’s Office: The candidate’s dean’s office must submit the original and an electronic copy (pdf) of this form and all supporting materials to the CSCE office by November 1.


Procedures for Administering the CSCE Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award

Each college may nominate a faculty member for this University-wide award. The recipients will be recognized as a distinguished mentor. The award selection procedure is as follows:

The Faculty Award Committee for each college will select one faculty member (except CLAS, which selects up to seven, and Seidman College of Business, which selects up to two) to be considered for the award. Committee members will be selected by the dean. Committee membership will be a minimum of three faculty:

Nominations for the award may come from college dean, department chair, and faculty colleagues. Self-nominations are not accepted.

All full-time faculty members who have been employed at GVSU a minimum of 3 years are eligible.

Only one award will be made each year. The recipient will receive $500. 

An individual faculty member may not receive the award more than once.

The recipient is selected by the Research and Development Committee with representation from the Graduate Council.

The CSCE will forward the names of recipients to the provost and relevant dean by December 15. The dean will inform the recipient of his or her selection. The CSCE will inform nominees who are not selected. 


Past Awardees

To view all past award winners CLICK HERE



2014 Awardee


Cynthia Coviak, Ph.D.
Professor of Nursing
Joined Grand Valley State University in 1995

Cynthia Coviak attributes her own interest in mentoring to the exemplary mentoring provided by her dissertation chair, an internationally known scholar who nevertheless maintained that one’s family is central to one’s success.  Professor Coviak’s dedication to the success of her own graduate students also comes from her understanding that nursing roles have become more complex and demand greater expertise.  She has been mentor to master levels students as well as doctoral students, serving on over fifty student thesis and dissertation committees and having ten of those fifty becoming educators themselves.  Coviak’s own words display her commitment to mentoring and preparing highly educated nurses when she states, “Working as a mentor is as rewarding as any of the greatest personal accomplishments one can have in a lifetime.”  Students portray Coviak as a mentor who always gives assurance to each of them that she is a partner, there to guide them to fulfilling the goals they set for themselves.  Even when students do not succeed or need to change their goals, Coviak guides them in a way that allows them to do so with dignity.  An excellent mentor, she is a model of patience, motivated by a true desire to see each of her students succeed.