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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2014-15 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award

Mary Furner - History

Professor Mary Furner has been on the faculty of the Department of History since 1994. She is praised by her students for her “dedication, generosity, and astute intellectual capabilities.” Her students also highlight the way she models high standards: “Furner students know that being a professor means more than researching and teaching: being a professor also means taking an active role in the academic community. Furner’s service to the department and university is legendary and has helped normalize the idea that such work can be an opportunity, not simply a chore.”

One of her colleagues states, “On all scores and by all accounts Mary’s performance as a graduate mentor has been superlative, earning her a well-deserved reputation for rigor, creativity, compassion, and effectiveness.” And another offers the following summary: “Although there are many other aspects of Mary’s outstanding mentorship I could mention, the one I’d really like to get across is the degree of empathy and humanity she brings to graduate teaching. Mary may be academically ‘tough,’ perhaps even intimidating to students who recognize a brilliant and no-nonsense mind in their presence, but she is always welcoming, approachable, and understanding to those who have hit some kind of a roadblock, or simply need extra guidance with some thorny research question. She is also dedicated to the idea that part of the work of the historian is to be a fully engaged citizen in all senses of the term: an inquiring mind, a caring and responsible teacher, an informed public intellectual, an independent thinker. These are the standards Mary encourages in her students, and most certainly lives up to herself.”

For her dedication and exemplary mentorship of graduate students Mary Furner is awarded an Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. Congratulations, Professor Furner!