Selim recognized for involving undergraduates in basic research

Dr. Farida Selim, faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Bowling Green State University, says she has been privileged to mentor nine undergraduate students in her two years at the University. Nearly all of these students have had the opportunity to present his or her work at international or regional conferences. In recognition of her mentorship, she received the 2016 Elliott L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Innovative Basic Research/Creative Work at the Faculty Excellence Awards Ceremony and Reception April 14.

This award recognizes innovative basic research/creative work conducted by individual faculty members in collaboration with undergraduate students and supports collaboration with additional students. It is given in memory of Dr. Elliott Blinn, a professor of chemistry, who dedicated his career to sharing with his undergraduate students the excitement of the process of discovery by directly involving them in basic research/creative work. Selim received a $2,500 award, which included $1,250 transferred to a department account for continued collaborative research activities with BGSU undergraduate students, as well as a $1,250 cash prize.

In their letters of recommendation, Selim’s students all commented on the value of the guidance she provided them. This mirrors Selim’s beliefs that part of her role as a faculty member is to help her students discover their passion and find their career path. She says her focus is to allow students to “think independently and ignite their creativity.”

“Her prowess as a diligent and accomplished researcher, accompanied by her unparalleled guidance, has helped motivate me, among other students, to succeed in the field,” wrote Anthony Colosimo, an undergraduate physics student on Selim’s research team. “Joining her research team over a year ago has changed my life in significant ways, all for the better. She is a born leader, a woman of notable intellect, who truly lives for her work.”

If it were not for Dr. Selim, I would not be where I am intellectually and possibly even career path-wise.

Benjamin Hardy, a double major in mathematics and physics, wrote, “If it were not for Dr. Selim, I would not be where I am intellectually and possibly even career path-wise. After the mentorship of Farida Selim, I have a more than competent understanding of research and, not to mention, the etiquette of the scientific community. I am thrilled to be working under a brilliant woman who I know first-hand actually cares about my career and me as a person.”

With Selim’s guidance, teaching and support, student Paul Husband conducted research that ultimately led to a presentation at an international conference in Japan and a published paper. “I am only one of the many success stories that Dr. Selim has fostered during her tenure at BGSU, and I can’t imagine a more generous adviser for undergraduate students interested in research,” he wrote.