We would like to thank everyone who applied for a Bucky Award this year! The applicant pool was incredible and everyone was deserving of great honor. The Madison community is lucky to have so many talented and motivated individuals and organizations striving to make a positive impact here at UW-Madison. Below are the winners of the Graduate Peer Mentor awards. Each winner has worked to better those in the community through deliberate and intentional actions, and we would like to formally recognize all of these wonderful contributions made to the UW-Madison campus and community.
★ Graduate Peer Mentor: Beau Burdett ★
Beau Burdett is a 6th year PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department researching the effects of connected and automated vehicle technologies. A Peer Mentor can be defined by the motivation they instill in a mentee by way of a good example while also growing themselves in fostering a mentorship relationship. Beau has accomplished exactly this as a TA where Beau is challenged by the diversity in students’ learning methods and retention habits, creating a welcome challenge in curriculum design and relationship building. Beau credits past mentors with teaching styles that Beau has adopted and built upon – “Every great mentor I’ve had has enthusiastically fostered not only my professional growth through encouraging the expansion of my knowledge in my field, but also encouraged me to grow personally. While imparting their wisdom as experts in the field, they have not dictated knowledge to me in a rote manner, but challenged me to explore topics on my own, providing guidance.” We congratulate you Beau and are so pleased to have you as an integral part of our UW-Madison community.
Winning this award is a reminder to me of the importance of mentorship and education. This award will not only renew in myself an interest in mentoring and educating others about my field, but also encourage me to continue investigating and learning, about both my field and education.
★ Graduate Peer Mentor: Caleigh Guoynes ★
Caleigh Guoynes is a 5th year Graduate student in the Department of Psychology where Caleigh studies how neuropeptides make and break social bonds. Each year, the Graduate Peer Mentor Award recognizes students who exhibit stellar mentorship qualities and Caleigh is no exception. Caleigh’s need for creating accessibility in the sciences is inspiring, a lesson Caleigh passes on from teachers before. Where there is no seat at the table, Caleigh seeks to pull one up for others or create a new table entirely, particularly for undergraduate students who are the next generation of researchers and teachers themselves. Caleigh defines the qualities of an excellent Peer Mentor as a willingness to share knowledge, skills, and expertise while also having a personal interest in the mentoring relationship. Congratulations Caleigh!
Mentoring undergraduate students is one of the most rewarding experiences of my graduate career. Winning this award is a symbol of the dedication to hard work and teamwork that my undergraduate students and I have accomplished. Over the past 5 years, 28 different students have worked with me in the lab, and this has led to the successful completion of 8 different research projects. Because of my team, I am able to do more experiments and answer more scientific questions. I am forever grateful for these students and for the recognition of my work as their team leader and mentor.
★ Graduate Peer Mentor: Leah Steuer ★
Leah Steuer is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Arts – Media and Cultural Studies studying audience bodies, framing TV consumption in terms of emotion, touch, dis/ability, and sensation. Leah is receiving the Peer Mentor Award due to Leah’s impressive mentorship and knowledge-sharing with her peers and beyond. Leah defines a mentor as “creating a nurturing, respectful environment, where we all benefit professionally by way of the personal” and as someone who holds space for their mentee, especially those with different perspectives: “the mentor and mentee relationship is so often a two-way street of learning from one another. I value a careful balance of collegiality and professionalism.” Leah upholds and amplifies the qualities of a mentor by providing learning opportunities to undergraduates who seek those moments of inspiration and growth – we are proud to have such a mentor within our UW Madison campus community.
It’s a privilege to work with and learn from my peers every day in Communication Arts, where I’m surrounded by so many curious, driven, and talented graduate students. The process of building our media scholarship forum Playback has been especially rewarding. It’s become a space that keeps us inspired and committed to our research: the staff develops networks, uplifts one another’s projects, and experiments with new modes of scholarship like video and audio essays. There’s so much diverse work happening in my division (Media & Cultural Studies), and I’m honored to help build our strong system of friendly ties.
We would like to give a special thank you to all of our amazing sponsors and donors. Without them this amazing event would not be possible. They put in many hours editing rubrics, looking through applications, and preparing speeches for the winners. Their generosity helps recognize some of the amazing people and organizations that make UW-Madison such an awesome place to live. From the bottom of our heart, thank you.