Robert Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry, is one of five Princeton University faculty members who have been named recipients of the Graduate Mentoring Awards by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and will be honored during the Graduate School’s Hooding ceremony Monday, June 2, on Cannon Green.
The McGraw Center, together with the Graduate School, instituted the mentoring award in 2002 to recognize Princeton faculty members whose work with graduate students is particularly outstanding. It is intended to honor faculty members who nurture the intellectual, professional and personal growth of their graduate students.
Graduate students nominate faculty members for the award and, along 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 $1,000 and a commemorative gift.
Cava, who joined the Princeton faculty in 1996, is a leading scientist in the field of materials science, including the study of high-temperature superconductors. Among the classes he teaches are “Topics in Inorganic Chemistry: Symmetry, Diffraction and the Structures of Non-molecular Solids” and “Structural Solid State Chemistry.”
In nominating Cava for the award, one student pointed out his attention to each individual student and how helping students through graduate school and into scientific careers is his “number-one priority.” The student added that in applying the right kind of pressure to encourage his students, Cava has “created a lab environment that is very productive but also relaxed and happy, which is a unique and wonderful place to work.” Reinforcing this sentiment, another student wrote that Cava “always watches out for his students” and “manages to make everyone feel like they belong to a family.”