DCI Update: 2022 CISTAR Outstanding Mentor Award Winners

Based on the nominations, the Mentoring Award Committee[1] selected the following individuals to receive a CISTAR Outstanding Mentor Award (and see some of the qualities for which they were chosen):

Outstanding Mentors Award Winners

Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award Winners

Christina Li

Christina Li (Purdue University)

  • An incredible mentor who strives for excellence with integrity and high ethical standards
  • Taught me to ask the right questions, think critically about my research, solve complex problems, communicate my research effectively, and be confident in my ability to do impactful science
  • Open-door policy, quick response to emails/messages, understanding and friendly attitude makes her easy to approach
  • Willing to work with me to learn new techniques and tackle technical and scientific challenges

Ruilan Guo

Ruilan Guo (University of Notre Dame)

  • Met with me every week to provide direction, and encouragement, and to evaluate my progress
  • Weekly feedback and confidence in my ability made me feel I can excel in the program
  • Has a distinctive and close mentoring style that makes you believe you can succeed
  • Emphasizes work-life balance and advocates for mental health and wellness

Outstanding Graduate Fellow Mentoring Award Winners 


Leonard Ruggiero (University of New Mexico)

  • He got me accustomed to the lab in no time and carried a heavy workload
  • Worked with me to understand processes and chemistry
  • Willing to incorporate cross-disciplinary knowledge and techniques
  • Commitment to success has inspired me to follow a career in research

David Dean

David Dean (Purdue University)

  • An amazing guide and always maintained patience when I did not understand or made a mistake in the lab work
  • Answers all my questions and provides excellent comments and edits to improve my writing
  • Makes sure the faculty mentor is impressed by my work and speaks highly of me in front of the professor and collaborators
  • Provides excellent tips and advice related to research and career topics
  • A glimpse of my own future doing the same

[1] Thanks to the mentoring committee members:   Denise Driscoll (chair), Elsa Castillo, Matthew Davenport, Maeve Drummond Oakes, and Jason Hicks.