Kerry Chase and Margie Lachman

Professors Kerry Chase and Margie Lachman, the recipients of the 2023 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Mentoring Award

April 7, 2023

Abigail Arnold | Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Kerry Chase of Politics and Margie Lachman of Psychology are the co-recipients of the 2023 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Mentoring Award. Both of them received glowing nominations from multiple past and current students.

Of Chase, one student wrote, "Kerry was there for me...and lifted my soul when I felt like giving up. But it wasn't just mental support. Kerry is undoubtedly the best editor and commenter I've known. He gives clear, detailed comments and helpful guidance for every single section and every chapter that I wrote. And not just the big idea stuff, also the typos, the writing, everything." Chase’s current and former students also praised his teaching and his commitment to their success as scholars and in the professional realm. An alum wrote, “An assignment in [Chase’s] class became the basis of my dissertation prospectus and now I have been working on the WHO and international cooperation during major outbreaks for the past 10 years. Professor Chase’s encouragement and openness to new areas of research fundamentally shaped my direction as a scholar and as a result, my career.” Another noted, “Once GSAS really began prioritizing professional development and career planning outside of the academy, Kerry did not balk but instead insisted his students engage and ask questions about how those programs and ideas could work for us. While I always knew I wanted to pursue that path, Kerry made it feel OK to say so loud and proud at Department meetings.”

Responding to the news that he had received the award, Chase highlighted the important connections that go into the mentoring process. He said, “It feels so rewarding to be recognized by Brandeis for my advising and mentoring of graduate students in Politics. My own dissertation advisor, Jeff Frieden, is an inspiration in many ways, but one lesson from his advising that has stayed with me was how much of a boost his supportiveness and positive mindset were for me as a student. A big contributor to this award is my dear colleague Robert Art, Professor emeritus, who has been such an influence on the professional development of our doctoral students, and a mentor, role model, and friend to me since I started at Brandeis. The true award winners should be my recent (and current) students — Cat, Jack, Lan, and Nathan — for their work ethic, perseverance, and admirable character.”

Of Lachman, one student wrote, “‘True leadership lies in guiding others to success.’ Without a doubt, this is Margie’s natural instinct as a PhD advisor. From day 1, she makes it clear that she is our beacon: she respects us as equals, she provides us with the tools to be brave enough to storm any challenges, she helps to foster our budding ideas and cultivate our own research path without imposing, and she leaves us much wiser than we were before. Margie not only believes in our potential, she makes us believe, too." Students also praised her commitment to their success and her guidance in the research and writing process. One wrote, “In the past three weeks, I was able to improve my work from a first draft all the way to a fourth draft. I am grateful to be receiving Dr. Lachman’s insight into how I can integrate my work into her research, while providing me with advice outside of this project.” Another noted the warm environment Lachman creates in her lab, writing, “She creates a lot of opportunities for mentees to discuss and receive feedback from each other, so the dynamic in her lab is very collaborative.”

In her response to the award, Lachman highlighted the importance to both mentor and mentee of such close connections. She said, “I am very touched by this award especially because it was my students who orchestrated it. This recognition is as much about them as it is about me. I truly believe I learn as much, if not more, from my students as they may learn from me. I am fortunate to have had a number of wonderful mentors and role models throughout my training and career. I aspire to emulate their generosity of time and guidance.”

We couldn't be more proud to have two such excellent mentors guiding our GSAS students. GSAS extends its warm congratulations to Dr. Kerry Chase and Dr. Margie Lachman.