USC Leonard Davis School Associate Professor Jennifer Ailshire has been awarded the 2023 Provost Mentoring Award, which recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding mentorship to USC faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students. Ailshire was honored for her commitment to promoting equity in research and her exemplary guidance and support for her mentees. She received the award at the university’s 42nd Academic Honors Convocation on April 11, 2023.
Ailshire, who also serves as the Leonard Davis School’s assistant dean of research and assistant dean of international programs and global initiatives, was commended for her generosity toward the academic and professional success of others, modeling how to be a successful woman in academia, bringing equity into research, and championing scholars from underrepresented groups.
In letters submitted in support of her nomination, current and former mentees credited her with creating an environment of inclusiveness. Specifically, they described her as someone who notices the uniqueness in her students, makes them feel visible and valued, and goes above and beyond to help them develop their strengths.
Among her achievements, Professor Ailshire was instrumental in creating the Gerontology Enriching MSTEM (GEMSTEM) program at USC, a first-of-its-kind undergraduate training, education, and mentoring program that aims to diversify participation in aging and health disparities research. The NIA-funded program is designed specifically to overcome longstanding financial, social support, and professional barriers that have limited aging research opportunities for undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds. Participation extends to undergraduate students across USC, not just at the USC Leonard Davis School.
In a letter announcing her receipt of this year’s award, Interim Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Graddy called Ailshire an exemplary scholar and a committed colleague.
“Your legacy and dedication to mentoring and education has created a thriving and engaged academic community here at USC,” she wrote.