Texas A&M’s Women’s Faculty Network Recognizes Professor’s Leadership in Mentoring

Apr 30, 2015

Students and colleagues credit Dr. Lisa Campbell for her encouragement and support in advancing their careers.

Dr. Lisa Campbell, professor of oceanography, received the Outstanding Mentoring Award from the Women’s Faculty Network. Campbell also has a joint appointment with the Department of Biology in the College of Science.

 Not only is Campbell an internationally known authority on Harmful Algal Blooms, which affect human health and fisheries and marine life worldwide, she is also acknowledged by her students and colleagues alike for the positive influence she has made in their professional and personal lives.

Dr. Reagan Errera, a former graduate student now at Louisiana State University, writes of the time spent and encouragement given when she was pursuing her doctorate. “Over the years, I have come to appreciate that Dr. Campbell provides much more to her students than simply advising on research projects. She connects with each of us and helps us realize our full potential as researchers and members of the scientific community.”

Errera said she especially appreciates how Campbell stresses professionalism in every aspect of her students’ early careers as fledgling scientists. Dr. Campbell didn’t just correct the grammar in my research and grant applications, Errera writes of her mentor. “She was always willing to talk with me about how to make a paragraph stronger.”

Paying it forward

Campbell has made her commitment to mentoring a priority in her career. In an eloquent essay written for the Oceanography Society’s special issue on women in oceanography, she points with pride to the 60 undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have worked in her laboratory over the years, a majority of them women. “I hope I have been a positive mentor,” she writes, “as I recall how important mentors were to me.”

In addition to the accolades she has received from her students, Campbell is also acknowledged for the encouragement, advice and support she gives her colleagues.

“My mentor relationship with Lisa has meant a great deal to me personally,” said Dr. Sarah Bednarz, professor of geography. “She has been a tremendous sounding board,” Bednarz wrote in her nomination letter. “She always has time to talk, to reflect, and to listen.”

Bednarz credits Campbell for initiating a brown-bag lunch for women faculty members in geosciences with discussions ranging from applying for grants to raising visibility on national boards to finding good childcare in the Brazos Valley.  

“It is both a social event and a terrific, informal time to talk about the issues we face. A little gossip, a little wine, great food, and a life- and career-affirming experience which enriches us all. And Lisa is the catalyst,” Bednarz says. 

Campbell will be honored the WFN spring luncheon, 11:30 a.m., May 7, at the AgriLife Center. 

The Women's Faculty Network is an organization committed to encouraging and promoting the professional development of women faculty through both formal programming and informal networking opportunities. 

 By Karen Riedel