Two School of Health Professions’ faculty members were honored with the UAB Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Mentorship Award. Paula Chandler-Laney, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Ferhat Zengul, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Services Administration, earned the honor for exceptional work with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows during a ceremony April 2, 2018.

Each was asked what makes mentoring graduate students and postdocs special as well as what they learned.

For Chandler-Laney – the lesson was to keep it upbeat.

“Lead your group with a positive and optimistic attitude. Help your students rephrase their weaknesses and disappointments as opportunities to grow. Model this for them; be honest about the challenges of choosing an academic path, but teach them how to find the training and support they need to overcome any challenges they face.” 

For Zengul – the lesson was that learning is mutual.

“I learned that mentoring is a reciprocal process in which a mentor learns from mentees as much as or sometimes even more than the other way around.”

Chanldler-Laney and Zengul were joined by eight others, Elizabeth Beierle, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgery and director of the Hepatobiliary Clinic at Children’s of Alabama; Jenna LaChenaye, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Human Studies; Emily Levitan, Ph.D., associate professor in and interim chair of the Department of Epidemiology; Jim McClintock, Ph.D., Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology; Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D., professor in and interim chair of the Department of Psychology; Pat Patrician, Ph.D., Rachel Z. Booth Endowed Chair in the School of Nursing; Amy Knight, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; and Erik Roberson, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and neurobiology and Patsy W. and Charles A. Collat Professor of Neuroscience, as the 2018 recipients.