May 23, 2022

Gavin named 2022 Dean’s Excellence Award winner in Mentoring

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Environmental head shot of Dr. Cristin Gavin, PhD (Assistant Professor, Neurobiology) taking in a laboratory in the Shelby Biomedical Research Building, 2018.Cristin Gavin, Ph.D., assistant dean for undergraduate biomedical programs and assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, is the recipient of the junior faculty 2022 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. 

 Gavin received her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, while training remotely at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. After completion of her doctoral training, Gavin returned to UAB for a post-doctoral fellowship. She joined the Department of Neurobiology faculty in 2016. 

“Science trains by apprenticeship. Without invested mentors, a critical element is lost in the transfer of knowledge between academic ‘generations,’” says Gavin. “I want those whom I mentor to be more equipped than when they came to me. In addition, mentorship is a challenging and imperfect science itself. It changes depending on the mentee and situation, which demands constant evolution on the part of the mentor. I enjoy that challenge.”  

She serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology and associate director of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences Neuroscience Theme. In 2016, she was the recipient of a National Academic Advising Association Award and in 2019, was honored with Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching. She oversees curriculum, faculty development, academic advising, recruitment, and manages undergraduate neuroscience research in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine. Gavin has worked with countless students to establish a series of professional development workshops that aim to help students with graduate applications for biomedical research programs and other professional schools.   

"Dr. Gavin spends countless hours mentoring our undergraduate Neuroscience majors, graduate students, and even other faculty," says Craig M. Powell, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neurobiology. “She truly cares about each individual student. She is to be congratulated for her dedication to our students."