Gunduz receives 2023-2024 UF Faculty Doctoral Mentoring Award

Congratulations to Dr. Aysegul Gunduz, professor and Fixel Brain Mapping Professor, who has been awarded the 2023-2024 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and UF Faculty Doctoral Mentoring Award. Excellence in doctoral mentoring is demonstrated by a personal statement, letters from current and former students, and letters of support from the department and college. Gunduz will be presented with the award by the Dean of the Graduate School later in the spring.

“Dr. Gunduz’s exemplary mentorship, dedication to fostering inclusive environments, and relentless pursuit of excellence make her an exceptional candidate for the UF Faculty Doctoral Mentoring Award. Her commitment to instilling core leadership values and promoting access, inclusivity, and diversity, alongside her outstanding research contributions, establishes her as a true leader in her field,” said Dr. Cherie Stabler, Professor & Department Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Gunduz’s statement regarding her approach to mentoring:
My mentorship motto is to “inspire, empower, and advocate.” My doctoral students interact and work with 4-6 patients for their dissertations. Seeing the impact of their work on the patients’ lives is an inspiring, motivating, and rewarding experience for my trainees. My graduate students have weekly meetings on Mondays at 7 a.m. with our clinical collaborators at the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, where they get to interact with clinicians at every rank, from residents to attendings. This empowers my students and leads to highly productive collaborations. During the pandemic, I interacted with the Vice President for Research to advocate for all my doctoral students performing clinical research to receive the COVID-19 vaccines for their health and that of our participants. Ours was the first lab to receive the vaccines in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering (in January 2021).

I attribute my academic success to having graduated from highly diverse post-graduate laboratories. I thus empower those from various backgrounds. I am the 2019 recipient of the UF Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award, and in 2020, I was inducted into the UF Graduate School Bouchet Honor Society. The Bouchet Society, named for the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in the US (Yale University, 1876), promotes diversity in higher education. I also hold Graduate Faculty Status in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Neuroscience to diversify my lab to multiple disciplines and have graduated two MD-PhD students.

I have inspired and empowered my trainees to apply for scholarships, fellowships, and awards. I have advocated for them in these fellowship applications with my mentoring plans. I have advocated for them by nominating them for many awards. Two of my alums are assistant professors at Weill Cornell Medical College, Department of Psychiatry, and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Congratulations, Dr. Gunduz!