Dickerson Wins Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award

Apr 27, 2020

John Dickerson, an assistant professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, recently received a Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year award.

The award, administered through UMD’s Graduate School, recognizes faculty that have made exceptional contributions to the graduate experience for a student or group of students.

This year, 216 graduate students nominated 30 Maryland faculty for the award. A campus-wide selection committee of graduate faculty and graduate students evaluated the nominations, and 10 faculty—including Dickerson—were chosen to receive this honor in 2020.

Duncan McElfresh, a fourth-year doctoral student in applied mathematics, is one of a group of 10 doctoral students who nominated Dickerson. In their nomination letter, they noted that Dickerson has a great deal of respect for his students and is always willing to listen to their ideas.

“John treats his students as collaborators, like his peers,” McElfresh and the others wrote. “For example, he always chats with students about major decisions related to our work, such as which conference or journal the work will be submitted to, what content will be included in the work, and what the main message or focus will be. He asks what his students want before making his own suggestions, but he will readily make suggestions if we ask.”

Dickerson will be formally recognized with his Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year award during a virtual celebration in May.

—Story by Melissa Brachfeld