Today@Sam Article

Biology Professor Receives State Association's Mentoring Award

May 6, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

ChoudharyIn a university setting, as much emphasis is placed on research as it is on service and teaching. While the publication of studies is one way faculty members contribute to the research indicator of academic life, mentoring students through their own projects is equally as important, as it prepares the next generation of academians.

Associate professor of biological sciences Madhusudan Choudhary knows this full well. Since joining the Sam Houston State University faculty in 2008, he served many of his students through mentorship and participation in his research program.

For his work, Choudhary recently was recognized as the recipient of 2013-2014 Texas Branch American Society for Microbiology Faculty Mentoring Award. This recognition also includes a $1,000 cash award.

The award recognizes one faculty member of a Texas institution of higher learning and involved in microbiology research for excellence in mentoring in research. 

“You should be extremely proud of this significant accomplishment, as there were several excellent applications from which yours stood out,” wrote Kendra Rumbaugh, president of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, in her announcement letter to Choudhary.

“Great mentors are probably the No. 1 factor that keeps students engaged in research and set them forth on successful career paths. As evidenced by the extraordinary comments your nominator and letter writers wrote about the time and effort you spend mentoring the students at your institution and the level of success your past students have had, it is clear that mentoring is a priority in your career,” she continued. “You clearly embody the kind of faculty member that we envisioned for this award and are an excellent representative of our branch.” 

Choudhary’s work with his students also has been recognized by SHSU, both as a 2014 recipient of the College of Science’s Faculty Excellence Award in Research and with the 2012 University Mentoring Award.

In addition to teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, he has served as a thesis adviser for many students at both levels; has maintained 11 undergraduate honors contracts; and has mentored more than 40 undergraduate students through their independent research studies. Several of his undergraduate students coauthored peer-reviewed publications in national and international journals. 

Like many proud mentors, Choudhary is quick to point to his students who have excelled and shows great pride in them. He mentions his first master’s student who went on to complete a Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, “which is like the Harvard of Europe,” he said.

He also mentions students who are currently enrolled in various doctoral programs or have earned doctorates in biomedical or biological sciences, as well as five undergraduate students who completed research projects in his laboratory and went on to medical schools.  

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Texas Branch-ASM Mentoring Award,” Choudhary said. “Mentoring students is my inherent passion, and to be recognized for this will be the great honor for me. I hope to live up to the high esteem of this recognition.”

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