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Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presents the 2018 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring to Damania at the University’s May 12 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Blossom Damania, Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has received the 2018 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring.

The Graduate School presents the annual award to a faculty member who: encourages students to establish their own record of scholarly activity or performance; provides a supportive environment that facilitates the development of best performance and talents from individual graduate students; and achieves a successful record of graduate degree completion among the students they have advised.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presented the award to Damania at the University’s May 12 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

“Dr. Damania is a world-renowned researcher,” Matson said, in presenting the award. “The nomination letter details the high expectations she has for the students within her laboratory and the ways she supports their research.”

During her 18 years at Carolina, Damania has trained 14 graduate students and 15 post-doctoral scholars, who pursue careers, in the words of the nomination letter, “in highly competitive, diverse settings following departure, including academia, industry and government positions.”

The nomination letter for Damania also said, “Our future as scientists depends on being independent and Blossom has found that giving us the room to grow with proper support effectively establishes such independence.”

Damania is vice dean for research within UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine and also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“I am touched that my students, unbeknownst to me, nominated me for this award,” Damania said. “I feel very privileged and humbled. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to mentor and train students during their graduate career and to watch my trainees grow into accomplished scientists and researchers of high merit. They represent the future of science and they make me so proud to be their mentor.”

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