In recognition of her exceptional service to graduate students as a supervisor and research mentor, Irena Knezevic has received a Graduate Mentoring Award from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.
“We are delighted to see Irena’s commitment to graduate students gaining wider recognition in the university,” said Chris Russill, Graduate Supervisor for the Communication program. “She is very well known in our department for the intelligence, care and dedication she shows in mentoring students.”
Knezevic, an Assistant Professor in Communication and Media Studies, describes her approach to graduate mentorship as striking a balance between “paying attention to detail and not micromanaging.”
“I try to avoid being superficial in mentoring, so that I offer thorough guidance not only on research and writing, but also on professional development, and balancing academic commitments with the students’ lives outside of graduate school,” she said.
“At the same time I do my best to not be overbearing and to ensure that each student has ample room to make their own decisions, creative choices, and even mistakes.”
Prof. Knezevic was nominated for this award by seven students, including four graduate students in the Communication program.
“It takes time and energy to write the nomination letters and coordinate their submission,” said Prof. Knezevic. “That they would be so generous with their time tells me that they are all well on their way becoming good mentors and colleagues who will take time to recognize others’ work.”
Leah Cameron, MA Student
I nominated Irena for the Graduate Mentoring Award because she is an amazing professor and mentor. She makes all her students feel like an integral part of the class and is always going above and beyond to help. I feel extremely lucky to have had her as a professor, and now as a supervisor. She is so deserving of this award!
Kathy Dobson, PhD Candidate
Dr. Knezevic’s genuine compassion and passion for teaching is obvious, and demonstrated by her intense and obvious dedication to student learning and achievement. Students respect, trust, and value her highly as she always tries to help students with their goals, and is a generous mentor and supportive sounding board.
Fleur Esteron, PhD Candidate
Irena negotiates between the fine balance of her heart and mind. She openly supports her students yet is fearless when giving constructive feedback and critique that has immensely improved, not only my academic abilities, but also the way that I view and face the world and its subtleties…Irena has transformed me to become a better researcher and a thoughtful graduate student.
Scott Mitchell, PhD Candidate
Irena is an extremely supportive, dedicated mentor to students. I’m certain that anyone who has been lucky enough to work with her – or anyone who has the good fortune to do so in the future – would agree that she’s an incredible teacher and researcher, and always goes above and beyond to provide support to her students. I’ve learned so much from her.
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