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Brubaker Receives Inaugural Mentorship Award

Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., is the inaugural recipient of the Kathleen S. Lowney Mentoring Award.
Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., is the inaugural recipient of the Kathleen S. Lowney Mentoring Award.

By Tiffany Murray-Robertson

Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., an associate professor and chair of the Wilder School’s Public Policy and Administration program, has received the first-ever Kathleen S. Lowney Mentoring Award.

Presented by the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the award recognizes a scholar who has excelled at mentoring others who are engaged in scholarly or community activism. Faculty are nominated by students and peers and must have a demonstrated record of involving students in publications, grants and conferences.  She will receive the award at an awards ceremony in Montreal on August 12.

Brubaker, an expert on sexual and domestic violence on college campuses, gender violence, gender and sexual identity issues, is a sociologist and former associate dean of faculty and academic affairs at the Wilder School. Her recent work is a student collaboration that examines exclusionary assumptions regarding student experiences of campus sexual assault and identifies barriers to reporting among international, sexual and racial ethnic minorities.

Through the programs she’s created and through her personal mentoring efforts, Dr. Brubaker's students have become better academics, better practitioners, and better people.
 -Jill Gordon, Ph.D.

As the chair of the doctoral program, Brubaker serves as an adviser for all doctoral students at the Wilder School, providing guidance on course enrollment, comprehensive exams, publishing, and professional and professional development opportunities.

“Dr. Brubaker is an exceptional teacher and mentor,” said Brittany Keegan, a second-year doctoral student who has served as Brubaker’s graduate assistant since her arrival in the program. She  is one two student coauthors on Brubaker’s study, “Measuring and reporting campus sexual assault: Privilege and exclusion in what we know and what we do.” The article is currently under review.

“She is a consistent resource and makes a genuine effort to support students at every stage of their development, and this makes her tremendously popular among them,” Keegan said.

“Personally, I’ve seen how hard she works every day to ensure that doctoral students are given every opportunity to succeed. She wants her mentees to thrive and provides many opportunities for them to work on projects and develop their skills under her supervision.”

Keegan was one of eight individuals who nominated Brubaker for the award. In numerous testimonials, peers and students described her as innovative, incisive and empowering.

In a letter of support from her peers,  Jill Gordon, Ph.D., a longtime colleague who succeeded Brubaker as associate dean last year, offered the concluding statement:

“What stands out most about Dr. Brubaker’s approach is her ability to tailor her mentoring style to whatever is most needed. For some, this means becoming involved with research, working with her on papers, and presenting coauthored papers at conferences.

“For others, it means having someone to offer support, guidance, and feedback, or even to just have someone who will listen and who will care. Dr. Brubaker is all of these things to so many people; through the programs she’s created and through her personal mentoring efforts, her students have become better academics, better practitioners, and better people.

“I know that many of her mentees, myself included, have let her know how much we appreciate her and her efforts, and I hope that through this nomination others may also become aware of all she does.”