Grubbs Receives Prestigious Award for Graduate Student Mentoring

Dr. Dean Grubbs, a faculty member at the Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory, has been awarded one of FSU’s prestigious Graduate Faculty Mentor Awards by the The Graduate School.  Nominated by graduate students, faculty members are selected for this award based on their dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate education and mentoring, thus ultimately helping to contribute to the quality of life and professional development of graduate students at FSU.   

Grubbs, an extraordinarily motivated scientist, is highly respected among his peers and his students. He has an international reputation for his work as a shark biologist, for his tremendous enthusiasm, and for his seemingly unbridled energy for research. He also has gained respect as someone who without hesitation will dig deep into the core of accepted conservation and management practices to understand how (or if) they work, to ensure that they contribute to their stated goals and do not harm those species they were designed to protect.

He is also an exemplary mentor, working tirelessly with his students in the field, guiding them through their coursework, and encouraging them to carry their science into the policy arena and to the public.  He has served as a major advisor for 13 FSU graduate students within the College of Arts and Sciences – nine seeking Masters of Science degrees and four seeking PhDs, and served on committees for an additional nine FSU students.  Of the eight students completing their degrees to date, five finished master’s degrees and moved on to doctoral programs and four of the total have received prestigious federal fellowships, as well as numerous other awards and publications.

“I am thrilled that Dean was recognized with a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award,’ says his nominator, Dr. Bryan Keller.  “I cannot think of someone more deserving. Throughout my PhD, Dean has not only advised me on my research, but he has also exposed me to a wealth of diverse opportunities that have significantly shaped my career. I am forever indebted to him."

"Having been Dean's student for nearly 10 years through two graduate degrees, I was elated to hear that he'd been chosen to receive a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award," reflects Cheston Peterson, current PhD student. "Dean is an outstanding advisor, treating his students as colleagues and helping us to achieve our professional and personal goals. It is difficult to put into words the profound influence he's had on my life, and I will always be grateful for his unwavering support and the many opportunities I've had as his student to push my career forward."

Dr. Felicia Coleman, director of FSUCML, remarks, “He imbues his students with a deep sense of scientific integrity, nurtures them professionally to think critically and globally,  and helps them navigate through their graduate experience to become successful participants in both their chosen careers and their personal lives.”

"I am extremely thankful to be a recipient of a Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award and for those that nominated and wrote letters on my behalf,’ says Grubbs.  “I was very fortunate during my education to have multiple exemplary mentors including my doctoral advisor at the College of William & Mary, Dr. Jack Musick. Jack was given numerous meritorious awards for graduate education and research while I was in grad school and I recall during his acceptance speeches, he usually began with some version of the statement, ’My students make me look good. This is their award.’  I have had the benefit at FSU of having exceptional students in my lab that aren’t just impressive scholars, but are also great people. I fully recognize that any success I have had in my academic career, it is because of those students I am so very proud of. They make me look good.”