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Nomination letters highlight numerous examples of his expertise and ‘steadfast encouragement.’


Two men are smiling while posing in front of the stage at the doctoral hooding ceremony. The man on the right wears gold colored academic robes and is holding a plaque. The man on the left is in black academic robes.
Jason Metcalfe (right), mathematics professor, received the 2019 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring. He is pictured with Robert Booth, who received his doctoral degree in mathematics in August 2018 and participated in the 2019 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Jason Metcalfe, professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has received the 2019 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring.

With this annual award, The Graduate School recognizes 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 Metcalfe at the University’s May 11 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

“Mentoring is an act of patience and support – both of which Dr. Metcalfe has demonstrated in multiple ways,” Matson said, in presenting the award.

The nomination letters highlighted numerous examples of Metcalfe’s expertise and “steadfast encouragement” of the students he advises, including, as one letter said, his “uncanny ability to illuminate difficult ideas and help students develop the tools to answer their own questions, rather than just providing a quick answer.”

Metcalfe joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 as an assistant professor, was appointed to associate professor in 2012 and was appointed to professor in 2017. At Carolina, he has advised five doctoral students, two master’s degree students and five undergraduate students.

In 2018, he received the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Metcalfe also received the mathematics department’s inaugural Sue Goodman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education in 2017.

“He embodies the best of academic advising – providing the expertise to conduct important research, the support and mentorship needed to succeed in graduate school, and the independence needed to move forward in an academic career,” a nominator wrote.

Metcalfe said that he had been remarkably fortunate to have caring and dedicated mentors at every point of his career and was humbled by the award.

“It is difficult to imagine that I am living up to the standards that these role models have set. It has been an honor and a joy to work with the students at UNC. Their achievements are due to their scholarly courage, dedication, and talent, and I have been a lucky witness to their growth as mathematicians.”

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