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ECE PhD Student Simon Ward Wins Anchor Award for Mentorship

Posted by on Thursday, May 2, 2024 in News.

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PhD student Simon Ward is a 2024 recipient of Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Anchor Award for Mentorship, announced by the Vanderbilt Graduate Student Council recently. This award identifies and honors his hard work on a school-wide level.

Simon’s leadership has been evident throughout his PhD, through both his research and teaching. He has led a total of 10 undergraduate and graduate mentees working interdisciplinary teams on 5 different research projects, investigating the application of machine learning to improve the stability, sensitivity, speed, ease of use, and cost of medical diagnostic tests. As a direct result of this work many of these students have become co-authors on publications, presenters at national conferences, and have embarked on PhDs of their own. One of Simon’s mentee’s remarked that “Simon’s mentorship empowered me to take initiative on the porous silicon biosensor project, providing me with exposure to challenging tasks that sparked my passion for research and led me to pursue a PhD. His guidance instilled in me the skills and confidence to independently tackle research challenges, making a lasting impact on my academic journey.”, and in a review of his teaching, a former student simply stated, “Simon deserves a raise.”

Furthermore, Simon has enriched the Vanderbilt community through his representation of the School of Engineering from countless public online information sessions to several in-person events including panels and career fairs, sharing his research and wider experience at Vanderbilt.

Outside of Vanderbilt, he is a resource and advisor to budding high school students interested in AI tools and techniques, efficacy, and ethics. Simon has also made efforts to get involved in the local community through the Second Harvest Food Bank, by regularly serving in group and individually over the past four years.

Simon_Ward_Grad_School_Mentor_Award_2024As Simon’s advisor Prof. Sharon Weiss comments, “Simon’s deep research expertise in optical biosensing and signal processing, aptitude for developing new measurement setups, and patience in sharing his knowledge with others have been a tremendous asset to my group.” VINSE congratulates Simon Ward on this well-earned recognition by the wider Vanderbilt University community.

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