Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipients of the Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring, Dr. Kiran Soma, Professor in the Department of Psychology and a member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and Dr. Karthik Pattabiraman, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They join the ranks of a formidable list of previous winners across departments and Faculties at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Soma’s students describe him as “the best of the best,” a mentor who tailors his approach to each of his students, adjusting his style to their individual needs. He is a passionate advocate for diversity and equity in science, who carefully considers issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion in science and is intent on building a respectful and collaborative environment for all those around him. Dr. Soma is consistently described as possessing the ability to hold high standards for the mentees around him, in a way that fosters growth, education and the desire to meet and exceed his expectations. He shows the utmost compassion for his students and postdocs and gives so much of his time to aid their personal development. His kindness, encouragement, scientific integrity, and passion for science have had a lasting, positive influence on the personal and professional development of many students, postdocs and colleagues.
Dr. Pattabiraman’s students describe him as a great coach, mentor, and supporter of their work. While all doctoral advisors are expected to teach their students how to properly conduct research, Dr. Pattabiraman never does so in a way that spoon-feeds his students. He spares no effort to cultivate his students’ potential and help bring that out. According to his mentees, he is always ready to ask the right questions and listen, showing both patience and understanding. Dr. Pattabiraman makes conscious efforts to foster a culture of respect and friendship between himself and his students, and the between students themselves. He understands the ability, passions, personality, career plan of each student, and what makes them motivated and productive. As a result, his excellent mentorship not only inspires his students to complete their degrees, but it also helps them to begin their career both in and outside of academia.
The Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring recognize outstanding mentorship of numerous graduate students over many years. Recipients show outstanding ability to foster the intellectual, professional, and personal development of graduate students, as well as activities that go beyond excellent research supervision, including personal development and service to the scholarly community.
For a full list of recipients of the Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring, please visit our Killam citations page.