Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship

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Congratulations to Yang Shi!

Dr. Yang Shi, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, is the 2023 winner of the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship. Read Yang’s biography and explore the other REACH recipients.

About the Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize graduate-level supervision and mentorship that fosters intellectual, professional, and personal development of graduate students at the University of Victoria.

Previous recipients

  • 2022 | Dr. Yang Shi, Mechanical Engineering
  • 2022 | Dr. Fraser Hof, Chemistry
  • 2021 | Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera, Psychology
  • 2020 | Dr. Stephen Ross, English
  • 2019 | Dr. E. Paul Zehr, Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education
  • 2018 | Dr. Brian Starzomski, Environmental Studies
  • 2017 | Dr. Lynne Marks, History
  • 2016 | Dr. Catherine Costigan, Psychology


Nomination Guidelines

The 2023 nomination guidelines are available below.

Application submissions

Applications for this award are now closed as of November 1, 2023.

Adjudication Process

Award committees will meet in November.

Applicants Notified

Applicants will be notified by early 2024.


Who can be nominated?

This award is open to:

  1. all faculty members as defined in the Collective Agreement;
  2. currently holding a regular faculty position and anticipate continuing in that position for the next academic year; and,
  3. have supervised graduate students for a minimum of five years at the University of Victoria.

Who can submit a nomination?

Nominations may be submitted by a former UVic graduate student (not currently supervised by or enrolled in a graduate program with the nominee) or a UVic alum, faculty colleague or academic administrator, or by any combination of up to three co-nominators belonging to these groups, and ideally across groups. If the Department Chair is not a co-nominator, the Chair must review and sign to endorse the nomination.


Nominations of previous nominees who have not been selected as the recipient of the award will be held and eligible for review for a period of three years. Re-nominations of these nominees are welcomed and encouraged; however, nominators and nominees are reminded that the award criteria may change from year-to-year—please ensure that re-nominations conform to the current guidelines.

Award Criteria

Nominations will be assessed based on evidence of outstanding contributions in the following areas:

  • Exhibits a comprehensive knowledge of the field of study/research.
  • Creates an environment that fosters critical thinking, creativity, scholarly rigour, engagement and dialogue, and provides constructive timely appraisal of students’ work.
  • Inspires and models enthusiasm for the field, excellence in scholarship and teaching, as well as collegiality, professional conduct, and integrity.
  • Fosters the development of professional skills and competencies including (but not limited to) written, oral and interpersonal communication to facilitate the transition beyond graduate studies.
  • Integrates students into the culture of the discipline and encourages them to share and disseminate their research and scholarly activities within and beyond academia.
  • Responds to the needs of their students to explore and fulfill their post-graduate career and future aspirations.

Materials Required

Nominees are asked to use our awards application portal (opening August 15, 2023) where they can easily add all nomination documents and information. This includes:

Nominee Information

  • Department
  • Faculty
  • Position

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Upload as a PDF to online portal and must include:

  • Education and other relevant experience 
  • Employment history
  • Teaching awards
  • Courses taught

Letter from nominator

Share the link with your nominator on the online portal. The nominator will write a brief (2 pages maximum) written statement including:

  • teaching practices;
  • teaching philosophy, and
  • impact of teaching on student learning specific to award criteria

Two letters of support

Upload as PDF to online portal:

  • Letters are to be independent from one another and from previous students, staff, faculty, community partners and/or alumni
  • Letters address nomiees effective teaching practices (ie. student engagement, student learning, value of the courses to their overall program, effective teaching strategies, creativity in course design, teaching inspired by research, student mentoring, and innovative and/or effective assignments)

Additional supporting materials

Upload up to 10 optional files to online portal, such as:

  • teaching dossier
  • websites
  • media clips or articles
  • course syllabi

Supporting evidence should be referenced in nomination letter. Hyperlinks to web-based materials are encouraged.

Administrative Process


The Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost administers the award in collaboration with the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS).


One award is presented each year. The award includes a gift and a $1,000 cash prize. All nominees will be recognized and recipients will receive their awards at the annual REACH Awards ceremony. The awards will be publicized by UVic Communications + Marketing.

Selection committee

  • Chair, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or designate);
  • Regular member from the Faculty of Graduate Studies;
  • Graduate student representative selected by the UVic Graduate Students’ Society;
  • Graduate Adviser from any academic unit; and,
  • One member from the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI), selected by the Executive Director of the LTSI.

Details of the committee’s discussions and deliberations will be held in camera.


With the exception of the Committee Chair, committee members shall usually serve for three years, with one third of the committee being replaced each year after the initial three years. Sitting members of the committee shall not be eligible to make nominations or provide references.

About this post

This post was last updated:

March 2, 2022

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