CCAS Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring

May 29, 2020
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Professor Eiko Strader, a professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy, was awarded this year's CCAS Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring. The Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring is given to a faculty member nominated by graduate students. Mentoring and advising are crucial to the intellectual life and career trajectories of graduate students across the arts, sciences and professions. A good mentor is a source of wisdom and expertise, an inspiring role model, a compassionate critic, a sounding board, an advocate and a career counselor.

Eiko Strader joined the faculty of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2017. A sociologist who studies gender inequality and public policy, Strader is engaged in research that seeks to understand how and under what conditions gender becomes relevant in predicting life chances across different levels of geographical location. In studies focused on the regional wage effect of immigration, marriage and motherhood penalties in the U.S. military, and the job performance of ex-felons, she employs intersectionality-informed multilevel models to examine intersecting sources of inequality, such as race, ethnicity, parenthood and class, while simultaneously analyzing labor market policies or conditions that impact gender inequality.

Strader teaches graduate courses in policy analysis at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the graduate capstone seminar in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program and a graduate course focused on women, welfare and poverty that is offered jointly by the WGSS Program and the Department of Sociology. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students speak highly of Strader’s work as an instructor, academic advisor and “practical example of what the future may hold for us as scholars.” She is recognized as “passionate teacher” who “wants everyone to succeed and meet the degree requirements of the program” but who “also wants everyone to do their best individual work so that they will be set up for success later on.” One student remarks that Dr. Strader has a particular knack for “draw[ing] knowledge out of students, assisting when they need it, but also pushing us to work a little bit harder.”

Her students are especially grateful for the care that she takes to monitor not only their academic progress but also their personal wellbeing. “I really enjoy the fact that she has asked me personal questions about myself and career interests,” one student reported, and “the fact that she starts each class asking if we are doing okay personally, acknowledging that this semester has been hard because of COVID-19 both academically and in our personal lives,” is especially valued. In short, students report, “Dr. Strader goes above and beyond to offer counsel to her students....She steps up and makes herself available in a way other professors don’t.