Usha Sambamoorthi, Interim Chair, and Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, School of Pharmacy has been named the recipient of the Faculty Award for Distinction in Graduate Research Mentoring. 

Jointly sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education and Life and the Research Office, the award honors faculty who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the mentorship of graduate students. 

In her career, Sambamoorthi has mentored 41 doctoral students, and is currently mentoring another 16 assisting them with their dissertation research and guiding them through the essentials of professionalization, with a heavy emphasis on publishing the grant getting. Sambamoorthi, a first-generation immigrant in the U.S., says her life experiences in India shaped her philosophy and approach to mentoring. To her, mentoring is an integral process of her life that influences all aspects of her professional development, career and family. Her mentoring philosophy has evolved into one of guided participation and apprenticeship in the initial stages and less directive in the later stages so that the mentees become independent critical thinkers, and “doers.”  

One of her student letters of recommendation writers summed it up this way: “Dr. Sambamoorthi, as her students and colleagues call her, is the embodiment of leadership, academic and professional integrity, and a role model to all who have worked under her tutelage. Her lasting impression has paved the way for students like me to succeed in our fields. Her wisdom and her lasting influence will always guide our work.”


Associate Professor Kimberly Kelly, who also works in the School's Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, is a semi-finalist. She was among the top seven graduate student mentors at WVU.