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2017 Fellowships Mentor Award

May 30, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Phillip Ayoub, recipient of Drexel's 2017 Fellowships Mentor Award!

Phillip AyoubDr. Phillip Ayoub, Assistant Professor, Politics 

The Fellowships Mentor Award recognizes the efforts and critical role of a faculty member who consistently goes the extra mile to cultivate, prepare, and guide students in their applications to nationally-competitive fellowships. Through his role as an advisor and assistant professor in the Department of Politics, as well as his active outreach and involvement in student research and fellowships, Dr. Ayoub demonstrates a sincere and active interest in supporting student achievement and helping to foster a broader culture of fellowships and student success at Drexel.

Since coming to Drexel in 2014, Dr. Ayoub has participated in a range of campus-wide activities that support the broader cause of fellowships and scholar development: campus evaluation committees, faculty panels, outreach events, and career development and mentoring activities. Phillip’s participation on our Fulbright faculty panels and campus committees, in particular, has been an important part of our campus process and students’ success with this award. Because of his thoughtfulness and generosity in engaging with applicants’ ideas and goals, our students were better equipped to prepare competitive applications and participate in finalist interviews.  In addition to providing thoughtful and truly constructive feedback during campus interviews, he has often gone above and beyond what is asked by following up with these and other students individually as they worked through their application essays and proposals.

Dr. Ayoub sees his work with fellowships as part of the broader role of faculty to encourage and support top students. This is particularly important at a school like Drexel, where students may "not always naturally see themselves as likely candidates for competitive fellowship competitions." In addition to his view that "faculty involvement and encouragement elevates our student’s potential outside the classroom," Dr. Ayoub finds the work personally rewarding. “I love reading about the exciting projects Drexel students are working on. It keeps me in touch with the interests of our students from across campus and helps me think outside of the box in relation to my own field’s work.”

Over the past three years, Dr. Ayoub has advised over 25 undergraduate and graduate students applying for graduate school and/or fellowships, in addition to his service on campus committees and as an instructor. He not only encourages students to apply for fellowship opportunities, but also provides critical feedback and support to help these students strengthen their applications and persist through the end of the process. As a result, several students he has mentored have gone on to be recognized as finalists or recipients for some of the most prestigious awards with which we work, including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Boren International Scholarship.

As the recipient of several prestigious graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, Dr. Ayoub believes that “fellowships offer one of the most valuable intellectual experiences in an academic trajectory." In addition to supporting students through his involvement with the Fellowships Office, he has also taken steps to integrate fellowships into the course curriculum. He understands the value of the intellectual work at the heart of the fellowships process: helping students understand what motivates their work and broader goals, and how to relate this to different audiences in a clear and compelling way. For recipients, fellowships can "open important intellectual and professional horizons" by allowing students "to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world environments” and by introducing them “to new experiences that challenge their existing worldviews” or to people and contexts that “can help them to reevaluate their own outlook on the world.” He adds that, “In many cases, fellowship experiences also result in life-long friendships and life-changing experiences that teach grantees a great deal about where they themselves came from themselves.”

For these contributions and his consistent commitment to the encouragement, mentorship, and support of fellowships applicants, we are delighted to present Dr. Ayoub with the 2017 Fellowships Mentor Award.

Read our interview with Dr. Ayoub to learn more about his work with the Fellowships Office and approach to supporting fellowships at Drexel.

The Drexel Fellowships Office appreciates the myriad ways faculty nurture and support students day in and day out, all year long. Learn more about how you can help the Fellowships Office encourage and support students in their application for nationally-competitive awards.