May 1, 2012
Elizabeth Belding Wins Academic Senate Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor
Award is given in recognition of Belding's exemplary mentoring of graduate students in Computer Science
Elizabeth Belding, professor and vice-chair of the Department of Computer Science at UCSB, was recently awarded the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award by the Academic Senate. The award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award is given in recognition of the contributions of faculty who offer exemplary mentoring of their graduate students, which is a vital component of the mission of a research university.
Graduate student mentoring includes training graduate students for careers in research and teaching and preparing them to meet the highest professional and ethical standards as scholars and educators. Mentoring of graduate students is in addition to a professor’s other obligations, such as teaching, research, and service to the university. Since joining the faculty of the Department of Computer Science in 2000, Professor Belding has chaired or co-chaired 11 doctoral committees and served on another 19.
Professor Amr El Abbadi, the former chair of Computer Science and research colleague, notes that “in the short period she has been a professor, [Elizabeth] has already graduated over 7 PhD students and 14 Master students; no simple feat, in such a short time span.” In particular, Professor El Abbadi praises Professor Belding for the large number of Master students that she involves in her research, which “requires a lot more planning and coordination” than working with doctoral students.
In addition to the praise she receives for her work on graduate student committees, Professor Belding is also acknowledged for the breadth of her efforts at the departmental and campus level. She has served on the graduate admission committee every year since joining UCSB, instituting “new recruiting practices that have drastically increased the diversity of [her department’s] graduate student population.” Professor Belding is given particular credit for supporting (and increasing) the female graduate student population in Computer Science, “while clearly increasing student quality.” A colleague of hers states, “Her influence on our graduate student population was immediately very noticeable and significant.”
One of her graduate student mentees acknowledges Professor Belding for the impact she has made on him: “When I look back at the researcher I was 3 years ago and the person I am today, I can see significant changes in the way I think critically as a researcher and Professor Belding has a strong part to play in that.”
Credit is also given to her with regard to the career placement of her graduate students: IBM Research, Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon, to name a few. Professor El Abbadi notes, “The advisor plays a critical role in ensuring the best place for her students, and Elizabeth has clearly been very successful in promoting her students all the way through job hunting and job acquisition.”
The Academic Senate awarded Professor Belding the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award for “her dedication and exemplary mentorship of graduate students.” Many congratulations, Professor Belding!