Kari B. Jensen, PhD, associate professor of geography in the Department of Global Studies and Geography, has been named this year’s Mentor of the Year, a new award in its third year which honors outstanding faculty supervision of advanced undergraduate research.
Dr. Jensen teaches courses in human geography, child labor, cultural globalization, geographic methodology, and the geography of South Asia, and her current research focuses on child labor issues in Bangladesh as well as multicultural youth in the United States and Norway.
She also supervises students’ honors projects and internships in both geography and global studies. “There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all model in advisement, so I try to take the time to get to know my students and adjust my involvement according to their needs and interests,” said Dr. Jensen. “I see this award as a great honor and it’s humbling to get such recognition. It’s fulfilling to work with students on their research and observe how much they are able to develop their thinking and writing.”
Students who nominated Dr. Jensen all mentioned her unwavering commitment: “Dr. Jensen is the most dedicated professor I have ever had the honor of working with. Not only is she brilliant in her field, but she is also highly encouraging and immeasurably helpful,” said one. “She motivated me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of, and taught me concepts and skills that I will use for a lifetime.”
“In the midst of teaching multiple courses, serving as faculty advisor to the Get Global club, acting as advisor on three different honors theses, and conducting her own research work, her devotion to her students’ research is inexhaustible,” added another. “I have never encountered a professor so committed to helping her students excel academically.”
The prize is given to a full-time faculty member who has guided students toward developing original ideas for research in any discipline – from the laboratory or clinic to the library, field, or stage — which marks the transition of the student into graduate studies and professional life.
In addition to overseeing honors theses, she also works closely with the department’s student club, Get Global, and the Geography Honors Society, and has been a frequent speaker for Center for Civic Engagement events such as Globalization Day and Earth Day. “Dr. Jensen is an extremely talented and well regarded teacher and academic who has inspired many students to further their studies in geography,” noted department chair, Dr. Grant Saff.
The award reaffirms Hofstra’s recognition of advanced undergraduate research and dedicated faculty supervision as part of its commitment to teaching excellence, said Neil Donahue, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
Dr. Jensen will be presented with the Mentor of the Year award at the Latin Honors Recognition Convocation on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Previous winners of the award were media studies professor Mary Ann Allison and biology professor Justin DiAngelo.