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Blossom Damania, PhD, vice dean for research at the UNC School of Medicine, was honored with the award at the UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral hooding ceremony May 12.

The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill selected Blossom Damania, PhD, vice dean for research and Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, as this year’s winner of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring. Damania, who is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, was honored at the doctoral hooding ceremony May 12.

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring recognizes graduate faculty who provide outstanding support and guidance to their doctoral students. Senior and junior faculty are eligible for this award, and nominations come from graduate students throughout UNC-Chapel Hill. Criteria for this award include:

• Encouraging students to establish their own record of scholarly activity or performance, obtain external fellowships, prepare conference presentations, and/or engage in other professional development opportunities;

• Providing a supportive environment that facilitates the development of best performance and talents from individual graduate students;

• Achieving a successful record of graduate degree completion among the students they have advised.

Hoi Ning Ngai, PhD, associate dean for student affairs said the selection committee was thoroughly impressed with Damania’s commitment and dedication to graduate students, their development, and their success.

“I am touched that my students, unbeknownst to me, nominated me for this award,” Damania said. “I feel very privileged and humbled. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to mentor and train students during their graduate career and to watch my trainees grow into accomplished scientists and researchers of high merit. They represent the future of science and they make me so proud to be their mentor.”