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Venkat Narayan Named Mentor of the Year by Emory’s Graduate Division

Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan, the Hubert Professor in the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and a professor in Emory’s School of Medicine, has been named Mentor of the Year by Emory’s Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. The program consists of over 400 students and 300 faculty members, reported The Friday Letter, a weekly publication of the Association of Schools of Public Health..

“This is a very personally satisfying award, especially because the nomination and selection was done by the students,” said Dr Narayan, in an email note to this newspaper. “Mentoring is an enjoyable function, and something I do to learn from the bright, young, doctoral students – who keep me challenged and at the edge of discovery and learning. It is thrilling to be surrounded by discovery-oriented students, who bring so many ideas, and much energy and excitement,” he added.

“The role of a mentor is simply to continuously learn from the students, and to critically but constructively enable them to achieve their full potential and their career dreams. Creating a culture of informality, creativity, freedom, debate, questioning, academic ethics, and fun is what works, in my view. A good mentor needs to adapt his/her style to suit each individual students’ style and needs. At the end of the day, mentoring is as much personal growth for the mentor as for the mentee – so, what connects mentor and mentee is that joint learning, ” he said.

Dr. Narayan is co-director of Emory's Global Diabetes Research Center and the Ovations/NHLBI Center of Excellence for Cardiometabolic Diseases with partners in India and Pakistan.

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