Excellence in Faculty Mentoring

By: Graduate Studies on

Two UCF faculty members are recognized each year for their exceptional job in mentoring doctoral students. This year’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students honors two professors for their dedication to mentoring and inspiring their students: Gita Sukthankar, PhD, and Rosa Cintrón, PhD.

Gita Sukthankar, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. As an advisor, her goal is to train students to be capable and persistent researchers who are able to tackle the challenges of the future, she says. “I teach my students to be good problem solvers, to be self-educating, and how to work in teams. My belief is that those skills never go out of style and are critical to post-graduation employment success,” Dr. Sukthankar says.

The students she advised highlighted her constant professional and personal support. “Dr. Sukthankar seems to have an intuitive sense of hurdles that her students are going to encounter and she is knowledgeable enough to provide students solutions to those problems, often before the students get to them,” says one of her doctoral students, Kennard R. Laviers. Dr. Sukthankar was co-organizer of the doctoral mentoring program at the International Conference of Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems in 2010.

Rosa Cintrón, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and Human Sciences, Higher Education & Policy Studies. In mentoring her doctoral students, Dr. Cintrón says she offers her students her brain to pick, her ear to listen and a solid push in the right direct, when needed. She offers moral and personal support, encouraging her students to open up about their important, personal matters because she believes that what happens outside their classroom matters. “My aim is to always develop students so that they will surpass me,” says Dr. Cintrón.

Even after her students have passed the required courses, she expects them to join the Dissertation Writing Group (DWG), a group which meets every four?five weeks at her dinner table and simulates the classroom environment. Students, while enrolled in dissertation hours, must come to the group with specific assigned homework related to one of their chapters. “The success rate of the DWG? One hundred percent of the previous participants have been awarded their EdD or PhD,” she says.

Congratulations to the inspiring Faculty award winners!

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