It is our pleasure to announce the recipient of this year’s Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award. This award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding leadership and dedication to excellence in mentoring graduate students. It was established by the UConn AAUP to honor Edward Marth, former Executive Director of the UConn AAUP Chapter.
This year’s recipient of the Marth Award is Professor David Knecht from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Professor Knecht joined the MCB faculty in 1987 and has been conducting research with graduate students here at UConn for the past 35 years. It is clear from the testimonials received that he has had a very significant impact on both the professional and personal lives of the students who have worked under his wing, many of whom continue to seek his advice well beyond graduation. His students and colleagues speak to how generous he is with his time and energy, and to his unwavering commitment to his students and to the training of the next generation of researchers. Known as a tough mentor, Professor Knecht sets high standards and expectations for both himself and for his students. He encourages students to develop a “gritty mindset” that he believes is a key to advancing scientific knowledge. Professor Knecht’s receipt of the Marth Award is a fitting recognition of his dedication over the past three decades to both his own students as well as to graduate education more generally.
Professor Knecht is also a very accomplished researcher. His research expertise is in microscopic cellular imaging and computational assessments of cellular movement. He has nearly 100 scholarly publications and in 2019 received the CLAS Research Excellence Award in Life and Behavioral Sciences. In honor of his contributions, Professor Knecht will be giving an address at The Graduate School commencement ceremonies.
Past recipients of the Marth Award include Crystal Park (2021), Preston Britner (2020), Sandra Chafouleas (2019), Maria-Luz Fernandez (2018), Elizabeth Jockusch (2015-2016), Shareen Hertel (2014-2015), John Mathieu (2013-2014), JC Beall (2012-2013) and Dipak Dey (2011-2012).