Faculty Profile: Dr. Endre Begby
We're delighted to profile the winners of the 2017 Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. Endre Begby received an award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision.
Dr. Begby came to SFU in 2009 in a Post-Doctoral position in Philosophy, and was hired into a tenure track position in the department three years later. Today, Dr. Begby is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision because of his ability to prepare students for admission into the top PhD programs and provide guidance for their success.
His ability to do so stems from his “genuine interest and engagement with all students in the department, regardless of whether or not they have an official supervisor-supervisee relationship,” says Master's student Gabriel Lariviere. He goes on to say, “It is not uncommon to have Endre stop by your office to ask about your research, teaching duties, politics, or even how your personal projects are going.”
The graduate program in the Department of Philosophy looks a little different from the other graduate programs at the university. There are no labs and no PhD program (the department mentors its Honours students instead).
Instead, the department agreed about a decade ago that it would admit students with minimal background in philosophy, or with undergraduate degrees that may not traditionally be recognized, and prepare them for application to high-ranking PhD programs at other institutions. This agreement has transformed the academic careers of many students, and Dr. Begby has worked hard to make it successful.
His personal connections with students is the secret to their success. Current student Arianna Falbo says, “Working with Endre made me fearless and optimistic about the progress I could make in carrying out a research project in this area.” Falbo has since been admitted into seven PhD programs, two of which are at Ivy League schools.
Graduate Chair Dr. Kathleen Akins, says even students who had not been supervised by Dr. Begby offered to write on his behalf. She also says, “this decision [to nominate Dr. Begby] was ‘seconded’ by virtually every graduate student whom I met in the hall, all of whom thanked me for the effort.” It is clear Dr. Begby’s influence in the Department of Philosophy can be felt outside of his official graduate supervision.
The 2018 Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence are open for nominations. Deadline for nominations is March 15, 2018.