Didem Ikis honored with Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State doctoral candidate Didem Ikis was awarded the Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award during the inaugural Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 27 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

The Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award recognizes senior doctoral students for exemplary and effective mentoring of undergraduate and/or new or junior graduate students that contributes to the student’s personal growth, professional development and/or academic success.

Ikis, a doctoral candidate in biology, has trained eight student lab assistants in the testing of samples and analysis of data, and worked with two students in the creation of a Web-based framework for the data. Her experiences as a mentor also include the supervision of 15 undergraduate students in a research setting.

In the words of one nominator, “the depth and extent of Ikis mentoring would be impressive for a young faculty member, let alone a graduate student.”

As a lab coordinator, Ikis provided guidance to three undergraduate and nine junior graduate students. She led group teaching assistant (TA) meetings and observed the TAs as they taught their lab sections, offering feedback on their lessons and fostering their professional development.

Quoting one nominator, “The best education involves a multi-dimensional, nurturing connection to students, and Ikis has exhibited this trait in her interactions as graduate teaching assistant, lab coordinator, and instructor in both our pedagogy and core classes.”

Last Updated April 28, 2016