Distinguished Mentor Award
In January 2003, BGSA students implemented an award to recognize faculty who exemplify the very best in mentoring medical school graduate students specifically and junior scientists in general.
The motivation for this initiative was to acknowledge the substantial effort required of basic science graduate training faculty and to increase appreciation for their accomplishments.
Finalists of the Distinguished Mentoring Award are inspirational and motivational guides during the graduate student experience and often afterward.
Distinguished Mentors encourage unique learning experiences and provide an environment of freedom where graduate students can develop independent thought. In addition to individual mentoring, Distinguished Mentors contribute to the graduate student community by playing an active role in the design of graduate programs or courses and by giving outstanding lectures.
The recipient of The School of Medicine Distinguished Mentoring Award receives a plaque honoring their achievement, and their name is added to a larger plaque listing all recipients displayed at the graduate studies office. The Distinguished Mentor is also presented with the Philosopher’s Stone, a Pennsylvania blue stone handed down from one recipient to the next.
The Philosopher's Stone
For hundreds of years the Philosopher’s Stone has been interpreted to have a wide range of powers. Originally, alchemists believed that the Philosopher’s Stone was a mysterious, unknown substance which had the power to transmute base metals into gold. As time went on, the Stone was believed to hold the secret of life and health, spiritual powers, and the ability to perfect any substance or situation. Searchers of the stone believed it was a common substance, found everywhere but unrecognized and unappreciated. Modern interpretation describes the Philosopher’s Stone as a symbol of incorruptible wisdom achieved by uniting both rational and intuitive thinking. The Philosopher’s Stone, passed on from one recipient of the Distinguished Mentoring Award to the next, represents the thoughtful and altruistic nature of a mentor who helps transform graduate students from the base metal of their aptitude to the golden properties of realized potential.
Previous Recipients and Finalists