Borland Receives Council of Graduate Students' James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising

May 10, 2021

Borland Receives Council of Graduate Students' James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising

Katherine Borland

Congratulations to Katherine Borland, who has just won the Council of Graduate Students' James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising! The Siddens Award was created by CGS to recognize a faculty member who exemplifies "the best in graduate student advising at Ohio State." The award is given to one faculty member each year, and it is the only award of its kind on OSU's campus. Dr. Borland was nominated for this award by a couple of her advisees who are grateful for her constant motivation and support.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused graduate students a lot of excess stress; the job market is dismal, and funding opportunities are scarce. My advisor, Dr. Katherine Borland, has done everything in her power to make finishing my dissertation feel possible and manageable despite pandemic setbacks, struggles, and anxieties. Advisors are meant to guide you, provide advice and suggestions, and help you reach your academic goals. Katherine Borland, of course, does all of these things, but she also goes beyond the borders of normal advising to make sure her advisees are both successful and confident in our ability to complete graduate school. Many of my peers have struggled to stay in contact with their advisors during the pandemic, but Katherine Borland is always in touch and accessible. Many of my peers have received limited feedback from their advisors during the pandemic, but Katherine Borland continues to give line-by-line edits and suggestions on my writing (on top of completing her own research and teaching). And many of my fellow graduate students have felt hopeless in their job prospects during the pandemic; Katherine Borland has given constant support on my academic job search and consistently motivates me to keep moving forward toward finishing my dissertation. As an advisor, Dr. Katherine Borland has always provided meaningful career counseling, a (now virtual) shoulder to cry on, detailed feedback, and diverse opportunities in and outside the academy. While I'm sure many other advisors also check all of these boxes, I am nominating Katherine Borland for the James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising because she also exhibits other significant advising qualities that I have witnessed my fellow graduate students lacking from their advisors, especially during the pandemic: kindness, understanding, encouragement, and friendship. And she does all of this extra work without compromising academic rigor or research expectations from her advisees, which is often tricky to balance. I highly recommend my advisor, Dr. Katherine Borland, for this award. I know I would not be finishing my dissertation on time without her as my advisor, and I am proud to be her advisee". --Excerpt from nomination letter

“When the coronavirus pandemic brought academic life and all OSU activities to a screeching halt last March, I was far from Ohio State. Instead, I was conducting dissertation research in Bulgaria and had to make quick decisions about what my path would look like. While many of my fellow graduate students expressed feeling distanced from faculty advisors and the support of their departments during this trying time, I felt the opposite. My advisor, Katey Borland, stepped up to the challenge of helping me navigate an unprecedented situation and approach the challenge of being abroad as an ethnographer during a time of crisis. Her guidance and reliability in a time of duress not only helped me to make decisions about my immediate safety and health, but also helped me process this time through the eyes of an ethnographer. She was available whenever I needed her for consultations and provided regular feedback on my observations, notes, and challenges. Additionally, she took my insights and questions seriously, helping me to mold them into thoughtful commentary on what I was a experiencing and documenting abroad. I cannot stress enough how meaningful it is as a PhD student to know you can call upon one's advisor during a crisis and know that they will be willing to listen and offer advice. Katey has a knack for welcoming rising scholars into the fold in a way that builds community and open sharing, rather than reinforces the hierarchies of academia. I have felt respected and truly cared for under her guidance, and for these abilities I nominate her for the James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising”. --Excerpt from nomination letter