Graduate Division Honors Postdoc and Grad Student Mentors

Grad student and postdoc mentoring award honorees pose for a photo with Grad Division Dean's Office staff at Mission Bay campus
2023 Dean's Mentoring Award honorees gather with dean's office staff at the award ceremony on Jan. 31. Pictured left to right: Bill Lindstaedt, interim assistant dean for postdoctoral scholars; Graduate Dean Nicquet Blake; Ryan Boileau; Dallas Augustine; James R. Byrnes; Jinsook Suh; Eliza Nieweglowska; Antonin Weckel; Eduardo J. Santiago-Rodríguez; Carolina Di Benedetto; D'Anne Duncan, assistant dean for diversity and learner success. Photo by Mike Mullen.

The Graduate Division Dean’s Office celebrated National Mentoring Month by highlighting the recipients of the 2023 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in an awards ceremony Jan. 31 at Mission Bay. 

Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Nicquet Blake, PhD, was on hand to host the event, with support from D’Anne Duncan, PhD, assistant dean for diversity and learner success, and Bill Lindstaedt, interim assistant dean for postdoctoral scholars. 

Mentors...are a special group of people...they don’t do it for any other reason but because they care, because they’re invested in someone else’s success.

Nicquet Blake, PhD

Vice Provost and Graduate Dean

Launched in 2019, the Dean’s Awards recognize graduate students and postdocs who consistently serve as excellent mentors for their colleagues at UCSF, and who have formally or informally taken on some of the responsibilities typically held by traditional mentors, supervisors, and sponsors during their training. This year’s honorees were selected from over 60 nominations reviewed by a panel comprising faculty, staff, and grad students. 

“It takes a village to complete a PhD or a postdoc,” observed Dean Blake during the ceremony. “Peer mentors are critical members of that village. It is a comforting and invaluable resource to have someone with whom you can be fully transparent and that you can turn to when you are learning, whether it’s a new technique, a new craft, or whether you’re just trying to improve on something in your field of study.” 

After the honorable mentions were recognized, each of the six awardees was introduced by one of the individuals who’d participated in their nomination, in order to share personal words of appreciation for their colleague’s noteworthy mentoring work. 


Graduate Students 
Ryan Boileau, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD program 
Eliza S. Nieweglowska, Tetrad PhD program 
Eduardo J. Santiago-Rodríguez, Epidemiology and Translational Science PhD program 

Dallas Augustine, PhD, Center for Vulnerable Populations 
James R. Byrnes, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry 
Antonin Weckel, PhD, Department of Dermatology 

Honorable Mentions: 

Graduate Students 
Karissa Hansen, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD program 
Kelsey Hennick, Tetrad PhD program 

Carolina Di Benedetto, PhD, Department of Radiation Oncology 
Abhejit Rajagopal, PhD, Department of Radiology 
Jinsook Suh, PhD, Department of Orofacial Sciences 


You can learn more about the honorees or watch a recording of the awards ceremony

Nominations for the 2024 Dean’s Awards for Mentoring will be accepted in fall 2023.