Jeremy Mason Wins UC Davis Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award
Materials science and engineering (MSE) assistant professor Jeremy Mason has received a 2020-21 Graduate Program Advising and Mentorship Award from UC Davis Graduate Studies. The second annual awards recognize UC Davis faculty members for outstanding excellence and commitment in advising and mentoring of graduate students, service to their programs and the positive impact they have on their students and colleagues.
Recipients are nominated by their graduate programs to promote, highlight and develop a culture of good mentoring for graduate students. Mason is one of 26 winners across UC Davis to receive the award this year and among five winners in the College of Engineering.
Mason emphasizes the importance of finding ways to help each student achieve their individual goals as they work toward their degrees. To him, mentorship is all about giving students the guidance and resources they need to be invested and successful in the work that they do.
“The craft of mentoring is in knowing students well enough to be able to regularly find a question or task that both entices them and is just at the edge of what they can accomplish on their own,” he said. “Offer them enough of those, and they can develop a thirst for knowledge and confidence in their ability to learn independently that will carry them through the end of their degree and beyond.”
Mason received his B.S. in physics and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a faculty member at Boğaziçi University in Turkey before joining UC Davis in 2017.
He is a computational materials scientist whose reserach focuses on developing computer models of materials phenomenon, particularly on the mesoscale—the length scale between macro and nano-scale, complete with its own unique set of phenomena.
He is also a passionate educator, teaching “Computational Materials Science” (EMS 285) for graduate students and courses in basic computing, mechanical behavior of materials and the history and engineering of bicycles for undergraduates.
“Graduate mentorship and advising is a question of the legacy we want to leave behind,” he said. “My favorite part of working with graduate students is the day when they turn to me and can convince me that my intuition about the subject is wrong. That happens for just about every student that I mentor at some point, and really gives me hope that they will be able to carry the project further than I could on my own.”