Steve Dodge with his research group. From left: Laleh Mohtashemi (MSc), Steve Dodge, Rohan Abraham (MSc), Payam Mousavi (PhD), Oliver Kracji (BSc), Yongki Kim (Research Associate), and Derek Sahota (PhD)."


Faculty Profile: Dr. J. Steven Dodge, Physics

October 09, 2013

We're delighted to profile the winners of the 2013 Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. J. Steven Dodge received an award for Excellence in Leadership.

Dr. J. Steven Dodge has been at SFU since 2000 and became Graduate Program Chair (GPC) in the Department of Physics in 2009. In those four years, he has shown exceptional leadership in transforming the department to create an environment that is more supportive of its graduate students and helps them to achieve their goals in a timely manner.

When he began his term as grad chair, one of his first tasks was to talk to all current graduate students and survey past students. That feedback — implemented continuously as his door is always open to students — has led to several changes:

  • ensuring that Physics graduate student stipends keep pace with the increasing costs of living in Vancouver, arguably Canada's second-most expensive city. His work means that SFU Physics is now a leader in guaranteed minimum funding for graduate students at SFU and is very competitive nationally.
  • taking a leading role in recruiting the best students for SFU Physics, including travelling to student conferences and implementing a process that introduces new grad students to at least three faculty members to build their personal connections to their new department
  • Creating a new course, "Introduction to Graduate Studies: Research and Teaching in Physics", which provides students with a structure for faster degree completion times
  • Creating a student poster competition as a GPC responsibility
  • Personally mentoring students who are applying for NSERC scholarships and editing their award applications

The Physics Graduate Student Caucus spearheaded his nomination for the Leadership award; it's a sign of how much all the students in his department have noticed his tireless efforts on their behalf, saying, "Steve's ongoing consultations and discussions with the graduate student body are well attended and greatly appreciated."

Tags: Achievements; profiles; physics, Faculty of Science

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

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