Dr. Darcy Kelley Awarded the Faculty Mentoring Award

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 10:45
Darcy Kelley is pictured.

Dr. Darcy Kelley has been selected as one of the five inaugural recipients of the Faculty Mentoring Award. This award recognizes senior faculty who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to faculty mentoring through their work with tenure-track and mid-career faculty in developing their careers. Exceptional mentoring can include offering advice, feedback and guidance on research activities, coaching on work-life balance issues, providing professional opportunities for mentees, and/or assisting in development of teaching skills. The Faculty Mentoring Award is accompanied by an honorarium of $10,000.

As Dr. Kelley writes in her statement of mentoring philosophy, she is a neo-Aristotelean. “Why Neo? Well, while Aristotle thought that happiness as a goal applied to both sexes, the requisite virtues differed considerably for men and women, as for citizens and slaves. Science however does not advance when its practitioners are quiet, servile and industrious. Doing Science and helping others to realize their gifts requires bravery, generosity, at least some charisma, vision and drive. As Science is a social enterprise, we also need to inspire colleagues and those we train to work towards common goals.” She writes that a history of “single sex and racially segregated education” has given us “great works of literature (e.g. Austen and Baldwin, even Proust and Flaubert) but it has also produced orthodoxies in science that stood in the way of discovery (e.g. A. Einstein and M. Curie) and required great and unremitting courage and the ability to nurture optimism, even today.”

The review committee writes that they were “deeply impressed” by Dr. Kelley’s “extraordinary record as a mentor and the moving testimony of mentees, past and present, to the influence [she has] had on their lives.” They add that she exemplifies “the ideal of the great faculty mentor that the award is designed to recognize.”

Dr. Kelley studies social communication in Xenopus, specifically the development, function and evolution of neural circuits for producing and responding to vocal signals. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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