Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award

The Call for 2015 Mentoring Award Nominations will be sent in May. The awards will be presented at the 2015 Annual Faculty Retreat scheduled for August 7. 


For professors with more than 20 years at KU School of Medicine.

The SOM Executive Dean's highest Mentoring Award, "The Jayhawk" is earned by professors on the faculty and is based on a lifetime of dedication or number of years mentoring junior faculty in the University of Kansas School of Medicine. This prestigious award acknowledges the time sacrifice and commitments through effort and advice by senior faculty professors to ensure our junior faculty achieve their full academic potential by developing skills and attaining advancement in the clinical, research and teaching areas. Recipients of this prestigious award earn membership in The University of Kansas School of Medicine Society of Distinguished Mentors.

Nomination Criteria

To submit a nomination letter:

  • The person nominating the candidate must be either:

    • a current mentee of the candidate who is a junior faculty member and who has been in the mentoring relationship with the candidate for a minimum of two years, or

    • a previous mentee, who is currently an associate or full professor and who was mentored by the candidate for a minimum of two years or more prior to being promoted from assistant professor in the KU SOM, or

    • a KU SoM colleague who is knowledgeable of the candidate's dedication to mentoring service.

  • Support documents will not be accepted from medical students, graduate students, residents or post-docs addressing their mentoring experiences with the candidate. This award recognizes the effort of mentoring junior faculty members only.

To qualify as a candidate for the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, "The Jayhawk," the individual must:

  • be a professor in good standing in the KU School of Medicine,
  • have been a member of the KU SoM faculty for more than twenty years (nominees do not qualify for this award while serving as a member of the Dean's staff),
  • have mentored a substantial number (five or more) of junior faculty members over the years, and
  • nominees must have evidence of superb performance in mentoring junior faculty.  Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • A scholar with demonstrated success in the areas they mentor.
    • Accessibility and commitment to "be there."
    • Excellent guidance of individual research and/or creative projects.
    • Willingness to assist junior faculty in pursuit of their stated goals, actively guiding development of teaching skills, research and pursuit of professional goals, clearly articulating expectations.
    • Holding their mentee to high standards, encouraging and helping them establish their own records of scholarly activity or performance, evidence of supporting mentee's participation in events (e.g., meetings, conferences, committees, speaking engagements).
    • Ability to involve their mentees in "networking" activities with other professionals and faculty.
    • Evidence of mentees completing their defined projects (such as successful competition for grants, completion of publications, meeting promotional goals) in a timely manner.
  • Candidates may be presented the award more than once, but not within a five year period.

The award will be based on the following:

  • A demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth of their mentees so they may function effectively and with measurable success in the organization.
  • Evidence of sustained commitment (two years or more) to professional mentoring relationship that results in career growth or personal development of three or more mentees.
  • Demonstrated valued behavior, attitudes, and/or skills that aid the mentees in achieving competence, confidence and a clear professional identity.
  • Critical to the selection decision is the extent of mentoring and the apparent quality of mentoring judged by outcome measures assessed from:
    • The achievements of those mentored including publications, awards and prizes and the career paths during or since the conclusion of the mentorship
    • Letters of support from additional current or former mentees of the candidate
    • Other statements of support (e.g. Department Chairs, Center Directors and Division Chiefs)
    • The collegiality of the mentoring experience and the desirable characteristics of the mentoring environment (assessed from statements of support).

Nomination Steps

The nomination must be provided in a letter and submited no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2015 to Laura Jennemann, Office of Faculty Affairs and Development. If you were a mentee of the candidate, please include with your letter a copy your CV (updated within the last six months).

The nomination must be provided in a letter and include examples such as:

  • A testimonial
    • if you are a current or past mentee of the candidates - a testimony of what your mentor has meant to you during the time you were an assistant professor.
    • if you are a colleague or chair of the candidate - a testimony of what you believe mentoring relationships have meant to the nominee's junior faculty mentees and prior to promotion beyond assistant professor. 
  • Descriptions of specific behaviors and their significance.
  • Specific examples of mentoring interactions.
  • Descriptions of accomplishments that can be directly credited to the influence of the nominated mentor.
  • A statement providing a simple explanation of the mentees work as an assistant professor directly or indirectly influenced by the mentorship, dating from the mentorship relationship.
  • Mentees are strongly encouraged to give specific examples of goals attained, projects completed, promotions, grants or awards earned, obstacles overcome, lessons learned in addition to anything else that they feel is attributable to the mentoring relationship.  Colleagues and chairs are also encouraged to provide examples they are personally aware of.
  • Please consider and address the List of Questions to Consider when writing a letter.

If you know others who would be willing to submit a letter simply ask them to do so and email it directly to Laura Jennemann. We do not need copies of CVs from the candidate, or colleagues and chairs who write a letter of support. Please refer them to the List of Questions to Consider when writing a letter.


Nominations will be reviewed and selected by the Mentoring Awards Committee Members, chaired by the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, and two finalists in each category will be recommended to the Executive Dean. The committee comprises various professional levels from an interdisciplinary arena along with past recipients of all the Mentoring Award categories.

Final selection will be made by the Executive Dean, School of Medicine, University of Kansas. The honoree selected will be notified prior to the 2015 Annual Faculty Retreat.

Award & Presentation

  • $1,500 each award
  • Trophy
  • Membership in University of Kansas School of Medicine Society of Distinguished Mentors.
  • Presented by the Executive Dean at the Annual Faculty Retreat in August 2015.

Last modified: Jan 26, 2015
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