History Professor Receives 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring

May 23, 2016

Donald J. Raleigh (left) receiving the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring from Graduate School Dean Steve Matson.

Donald J. Raleigh, the Jay Richard Judson distinguished professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has received the 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring.

The Graduate School presents the annual award to a faculty member who has encouraged graduate students to establish their own records of scholarly activity, provided a supportive environment that brings forth the very best from students, and achieved a successful record of graduate degree completion among students he or she has advised.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presented the award to Raleigh, a renowned scholar within Russian history, at the University’s May 7 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. Matson said Raleigh is an outstanding mentor who gives talented students the confidence and capabilities they need to create valuable new knowledge and succeed as leaders in their academic fields.

Both a current and former graduate student nominated Raleigh for his award. One nomination letter said the following: “Don’s attitude toward mentoring has resulted in a real community of scholars, recognized and respected by our field of Russian history. He creates a cooperative atmosphere among his students, encouraging them to share knowledge, evaluate one another’s work and assist one another in the research field.”

From the other nomination letter: “I attribute my own decision to enroll at UNC to Don. His name came up repeatedly when I considered potential advisors, not just as one of the top scholars in the field of Russian history but also as an effective and transformative mentor.”

He has successfully mentored 21 doctoral students at Carolina.

Raleigh joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 1988. He directs the University’s Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies. His books include Revolution on the VolgaExperiencing Russia’s Civil War, Russia’s Sputnik Generation and Soviet Baby Boomers, which made the 2013 short list for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize for the best nonfiction work about Russia. He has received numerous national and international honors, including an honorary doctorate from Saratov State University in Russia and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.


By Deb Saine, Graduate School