The Office of Student Research is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Awards. OSR received three nominations from five students who wrote about the mentorship they received from these Longwood University faculty members.

Adam Franssen, Biological and Environmental Sciences 

Dr. Franssen was nominated by two of his students. One noted, “Neuroscience speaks to me in a way other fields of biology have not and I would not have had the opportunity to work in this field and ultimately find my career path if it wasn’t for Dr. Franssen’s constant encouragement and his exposure to this truly amazing field.” Keaton Unroe also nominated Dr. Franssen and expressed his qualities as a mentor:  “Dr. Franssen has been a role model to me since the beginning of my time at Longwood. His teaching style is engaging and educational, and he has inspired me to become a university professor at am undergraduate school, much like Longwood.  I would love to have the opportunity to teach and conduct research with undergraduate students, and perhaps even inspire them to love science more.”

Bjoern Ludwar, Biological & Environmental Sciences 

Mahelet Mamo, a research assistant, nominated Dr. Ludwar and explained his qualities as a good mentor:  “Dr. Ludwar dedicated his Friday afternoons to work with me on research projects ever since my freshman year. He is always available to help with any problems I run into and impressively he never failed to assist me a single time. His helpfulness goes beyond helping his students, he is happy to help anyone in need. Many times, I took my friends in needs of personal and academic guidance to him and he has never rejected them.  His willingness and eagerness to help others is why I always send a friend or anyone who might need help in Longwood his way because his expertise goes beyond the classes that he teaches.”

Benjamin Topham, Chemistry & Physics

 Dr. Topham was also nominated by two students. John Brumfield spoke about Dr. Topham’s availability as a mentor:  “When not lecturing in a class, he is always available in his office for students to come by and get help with chemistry homework, talk about research, or just talk about life and future decisions. I myself have been in his office for all three. Even when I was not taking his specific chemistry course, I would come by his office when I needed help because he made me feel so comfortable and helped me learn things step by step in an easy to understand way.” The other nominating student described Dr. Topham’s ability to spark scholarly curiosity:  “I have learned so much from doing research with Dr. Topham. It has truly been my best experience at Longwood. He has without a doubt exhibited every quality of a good mentor. He is always available for when I have questions or need help with something. He has always guided me to find the answers to these questions without enabling me, which I feel has made me a stronger student.”