Anna Shields honored for excellence in mentoring graduate students

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Four Princeton University faculty members have been named recipients of the Graduate Mentoring Awards by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.  The mentoring award recognizes Princeton faculty members who nurture the intellectual, professional and personal growth of their graduate students. Graduate students nominate faculty members for the award and, together with faculty members, serve on the committee that selects the winners. The award honors faculty in each academic division (engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences) and includes a $1,000 prize and a commemorative gift.

Anna Shields, a faculty member since 2015, specializes in classical Chinese literature of the Tang, Five Dynasties and Northern Song eras. Shields models “collegiality at its best,” providing mentorship and guidance to graduate students and junior scholars throughout the Department of East Asian Studies. Said one student: “I work in a different language, country and discipline. She has nonetheless been a valuable resource for me and for many of my fellow students, freely offering much-appreciated advice and support in all areas of academic life.” Many Ph.D. candidates are especially appreciative of her workshops to help them practice public speaking skills, maintain work-life balance and serve as effective allies for one another. “Through these workshops, we all have learned aspects of academic life that are not shared in any textbook,” said one student. In addition to helping young scholars navigate the world of academia with greater ease, Shields’ “dedication and passion for teaching” has sparked the same in those she mentors. “I am spectacularly grateful for having the opportunity to learn from such a fantastic teacher,” said a teaching assistant.

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