Faculty News

George Noblit receives Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring

George Noblit, Joseph R. Niekirk Distinguished Professor of the Sociology of Education, received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring at the annual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 12, 2007. The University-wide award was presented by The Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Established in 2006, the award honors graduate faculty who provide extraordinary support and guidance to their doctoral students. Graduate students who received their doctoral degrees in 2006-07 were invited to nominate faculty members for the award this year.

Students who nominated Noblit described him as approachable, friendly, and quick to laugh – a person who embodies “elegant thinking, meaningful scholarship, passionate research and sincere camaraderie with his colleagues and students.”

“His academic guidance, more than any other I received while completing my degree at the University, enabled me to grow as a scholar,” one wrote. “Over the years, he has provided every possible resource I have needed in the School of Education, and put me on navigable paths for the resources I needed outside the School.”

“George is an outstanding professor, but more importantly he is a champion for his graduate student advisees,” wrote another. “He works tirelessly at helping his doctoral students become who they want to be, not who he thinks they should become.”  

The nominating students also commented on Noblit’s commitment to equity and diversity. “The spaces that George creates in the classroom, in his office, and in the field … are ones of intellectual growth and reflection, but they are also spaces that are safe and inclusive. He cultivates spaces that promote equity and diversity, for his open door is both literal and symbolic. He always makes time to listen carefully to students’ concerns and encourages us to investigate our struggles in new and multiple ways. These struggles, although often academic, are not always so.”

A committee of doctoral students and faculty members selected the recipients. Award criteria included a faculty mentor’s effectiveness in helping students establish their own record of scholarly activity, obtain fellowships, prepare conference presentations ad engage in other professional development opportunities. Additional criteria were the mentor’s effectiveness in providing a supportive environment for graduate students, and a successful record of degree completion among advisees.

Noblit is chair of Culture, Curriculum and Change in the School of Education. He earned his doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon and his baccalaureate degree from Hiram College in Hiram College, Ohio.