Connaughton honored for outstanding mentorship of graduate students

Stacey Connaughton Stacey Connaughton, associate professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor.

Stacey Connaughton, associate professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, has received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor. The award honors current graduate faculty members who demonstrate sustained and significant contributions to graduate education at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus through well-structured relationships with students, including committee service, mentoring, funding, and advocacy; innovative graduate teaching; and administration of graduate programs.

Since joining the Purdue faculty in 2005, Connaughton has served on over 70 graduate student committees and directed graduate student completion of 18 dissertation projects and five master’s theses. She has co-authored 14 journal articles and book chapters with her advisees and has invited graduate students to contribute chapters to two books she has edited.

“I am committed to helping graduate students develop as leaders in discovery, learning, and engagement and to creating opportunities for graduate students to flourish,” Connaughton said. “My philosophy of mentoring research assistants is to give them space and opportunities to lead, and coach them along the way.”

A nominator and former student of Connaughton said, “It was immediately clear to me in our first meeting that Dr. Connaughton would be one of the most influential people in my life. She took the time to listen to what my aspirations were and began to co-construct with me a path to achieve my goals.  Dr. Connaughton quickly began to mentor me and taught me not only what I needed to do to thrive in graduate school, but also what it would take to have a successful career.”

Two additional former mentees said, “(She) went beyond simply checking the boxes of what she should teach me – she truly cared about my success,” and “Dr. Connaughton opened up unique collaborative opportunities for graduate students like me and modeled for us what it means to do thoughtful, engaged work with the communities.”

Connaughton is the director of Discovery Park’s Purdue Policy Research Institute and the Purdue Peace Project.  In addition to these roles, she mentors students on research design, international data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and academic paper and professional report preparation. She also supports students through reviewing their CVs, giving feedback on presentations, being a guest lecturer at seminars and workshops, and helping them to secure funding. 

Providing leadership both at Purdue and nationally, Connaughton has served as chair of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Student Fellowship Program in Public Policy, Sociology and Communication; director of graduate studies in the Brian Lamb School of Communication; chair of a Graduate Council task force which produced the policy document for dual and joint degrees between Purdue and other universities; and was appointed to the National Communication Association’s Doctoral Education Committee.

She is the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Engagement Scholar Award and the 2018 Trailblazer Award, both from Purdue University’s Provost’s office.

April 27, 2020

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