Commencement

2021 H. Lloyd Jones Award for Distinguished Advising and Mentoring

Professor Leah Joseph, Environmental Studies
 

Citation

Read by last year’s recipient, Dr. Susanna Throop

It is a pleasure to present the H. Lloyd Jones, Jr. Award for distinguished advising and mentoring to Professor Leah Joseph. Student nominations make clear that Dr. Joseph regularly goes above and beyond in her work with students, who appreciate Dr. Joseph as a role model, advocate, and mentor.

As one advisee writes:

“She has supported me in all my academic and extracurricular endeavors and has been a role model for me as a woman in STEM. Not only is Leah a great professor but she cares deeply about her students just as much outside of the classroom. She has supported me through challenging moments and has celebrated exciting ones and my Ursinus experience would not be the same without her.”

Another grateful advisee adds:

“She helped me to get a prestigious internship that has since granted me opportunities to present my research at conferences. She has tirelessly helped me review application essays and abstract submissions, and spent countless hours working on recommendation letters and helping me figure out what path I want to take. She is incredibly welcoming and I have spent lots of time in her office hours talking through different courses and internship possibilities. However, she is not just open to talking about academics, she has also listened to my crazy and busy schedule in the realm of extracurriculars and community service as well.”

And students also note that Dr. Joseph mentors all her students, not just those with whom she works most closely. As one student says,

“Dr. Joseph goes above and beyond to help not only her advisees but also her students when discussing classes or pursuing a post-graduate education. She sets aside a class day to talk about post-graduate life and opportunities and is always more than happy to see you during her office hours. She does everything, and she does it all well. … She is a challenging professor– her classes are not a joke which I think is excellent. At the same time, Leah is a challenging adviser, too. She pushes your limits and encourages you to take tough classes. Dr. Joseph has played a fundamental role in my success at Ursinus.”

This small sample represents the much larger group of students that Dr. Joseph mentors. Through her mentorship, she demonstrates her commitment to the success of her students as whole people, and as a role model and advocate, she not only empowers those students who may feel least empowered, she contributes to a more equitable field of study, and society. It is my honor to share this advising award with Dr. Joseph. I thank her for her dedication to her research students, advisees, and to all the students who seek out her mentorship, knowing they will be supported, challenged, and encouraged to achieve more than they thought possible.