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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award

Verta Taylor - Sociology

Professor Verta Taylor has served on the faculty of the Department of Sociology since 2002, after arriving here from Ohio State University. She also holds an affiliate appointment with the Department of Feminist Studies. Over the course of her career, Professor Taylor has served on 71 dissertation committees (29 as chair) and 55 MA committees (25 as chair). Alone in her 10+ years at UCSB, she has served on 26 dissertation committees (13 as chair or co-chair) and 15 MA committees (8 as chair or co-chair). Even during her two terms as department chair, Professor Taylor continued to be exceptionally active in graduate student advising.

Professor Taylor has proven to be an exceedingly skillful and broadly based researcher, and she is able, on the basis of her own experience, to provide close guidance of students’ as they implement their research plans. One of her colleagues, who describes her as "the ideal mentor," states, "One is immediately struck when you observe her in this role of the ways that she connects students’ interests and work with the current literatures in the field. Her knowledge about the research literatures in social movements, in gender studies and in the sociology of sexuality is encyclopedic and authoritative. But she has a really remarkable knack for providing students with leads to work that bears on their own so that they can find methodological models and conceptual tools that enable them to implement and revise their ideas fruitfully."

According to one of her students, "Professor Taylor has successfully created a community of her UCSB graduate students. Whether in a seminar or informal working group, Professor Taylor regularly convenes her students to speak about our latest findings, article drafts, and social movement literature (even while she is on leave!). She encourages her students to work together, to see the connections between our research, and to learn from each other. She reminds us that we will be a community of social movement scholars throughout our careers."

In summary, one of her colleagues, a former department chair and associate dean, declares: "In my now close to 32 years at UCSB... I have never had a colleague who so utterly excelled at the work of mentoring graduate students."

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