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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sixth Annual Postdoc Mentoring Awards recognize outstanding UW-Madison faculty members

Four UW–Madison faculty members have been recognized with Postdoc Mentoring Awards, presented annually by the UW–Madison Postdoctoral Association, to honor their outstanding mentorship of postdoctoral trainees on campus. The association, a volunteer-led advocacy group for UW–Madison postdocs supported by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, established the Postdoc Mentoring Awards in 2015 to encourage and reward excellence, innovation, and effectiveness in the mentoring of postdocs.

Current or former postdocs nominated their mentors with letters of support detailing how they have exemplified exceptional mentorship. An association committee was then tasked with selecting those mentors who have gone above and beyond in contributing their time, knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm to advance the next generation of researchers and scholars on campus. These mentors embody the ideals of the association and the University of Wisconsin, and their dedication is inspiring and worthy of recognition.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees, listed below with select quotes from their nomination letters, for their extraordinary commitment to postdocs at UW–Madison.

Jean-Michel Ané, professor of bacteriology and agronomy

“Jean-Michel Ané is truly an outstanding mentor who is not only a driving intellectual force but also a mentor who helps and supports in every possible way in achieving goals of his lab members.”

“Jean-Michel is always aware of our expectations for a future career, and he is super clear about his expectations while we work in his lab. Every six months, he conducts individual feedback meetings about our career development plan.”

Hannah Carey, professor of comparative biosciences

“She is enthusiastic not only for the aspects of science that supervisors are typically enthusiastic for – interpreting results and writing papers – but also for the more toilsome aspects of science…it sets an enthusiastic tone for the lab. It is effective leadership by example.”

“I am a passionate space and spaceflight enthusiast, and Hannah, being aware of this, took it upon herself as a co-organizer of the workshop to ensure I was included…This experience has since led to additional opportunities for me to marry my passions for biology and spaceflight. By going out on a limb to include me in the workshop, Hannah has helped turn what was essentially a pipe dream of mine into a viable research path.”

Rebecca Larson, associate professor of biological systems engineering

“Dr. Larson has gone above and beyond my expectations of being a support for myself and my family. After my wife and I welcomed our first child into our family, Dr. Larson allowed me to take an extended leave of absences to be with my family, stepped in to oversee some of my laboratory duties, helped complete grants in time to obtain future funding, and even came to my home occasionally to see how my family was doing and bring food to help with the chaotic time at home.”

“It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life being able to work closely with a mentor who is dedicated, engaging, and caring towards the researchers in her employ.”

Danielle McCarthy, professor of medicine

“I write up my short-term goals for each meeting and every six months Dr. McCarthy and I extensively discuss my long-term goals, strategic career planning and skill-set development. In this process, I am learning to refine my program of research and develop my own independent research activities.”

“Dr. McCarthy supported me to build a research network with professionals in other fields…Her strong supports on my research network foster me to critically think my research agenda using multi-disciplinary approaches, refine my research goals and then launch several inter- and multi-disciplinary research.”


The full list of previous award winners can be viewed here. While only a few nominations could be selected to receive the award, the association is grateful for all of the UW–Madison faculty members who make this an excellent place for postdocs to train.

If you are interested in learning more about the association, please visit their website.