Faculty Profile: Dr. Nadine Schuurman, Geography

October 16, 2013

We're delighted to profile the winners of the 2013 Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. Nadine Schuurman received an award for Excellence in Supervision.

Dr. Nadine Schuurman has almost twice as many graduate students as any other faculty member in Geography, and she works closely with them to ensure their quick degree completions: Most of her master's students complete in two years and her PhDs in four years or less.

She is generous with her time and broad professional networks, connecting her students to a global world of researchers and helping them become better researchers and writers. One student says, "Publishing with her is a collaborative process of writing together, where co-authorship becomes another pedagogical moment during which she brilliantly passes on the kind of tacit knowledge about the academic publication process that cannot be taught in an instructional setting." As Dr. Schuurman is currently editor of The Canadian Geographer, this is no small opportunity for her graduate students.

It's not just about publications. She meets all of her students on a weekly basis, and regularly organizes professional development activities such as publishing and conference presentation workshops. Another student says, "Dr. Schuurman's main goal as an academic supervisor is to provide her students with the tools that they need to be successful in graduate school and in future careers in academia or elsewhere."

She's also created a research group where the students enjoy each other's company and work together towards their common goals. One of her former students calls it an ideal environment: "Rather than encouraging competition amongst her advisees, she fosters collegiality, camaraderie and loyalty. To this day, I maintain both professional and personal relationships from nearly every one of her advisees from my time as a graduate student."

A final observation — Last year, all of her current students banded together to nominate her for this Excellence in Supervision award. Her graduate program chair notes, "Graduate students do not always think that their advisor is the best one around, so it is a big deal that all of Nadine's students did the work to make this nomination happen."

The 2014 Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence are open for nominations. Deadline for nominations is March 15 yearly.

Tags: Achievements; profiles; geography, Faculty of Environment

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