Benjamin Bitler, PhD, receives University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Graduate School Dean’s Doctoral Mentoring AwardKristine M. Sikora, PhD | Graduate School May 22, 2023
Aurora, Colorado – Benjamin Bitler, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz), is the recipient of the 2023 Dean's Doctoral Mentoring Award.
This award goes to CU Anschutz faculty who demonstrate a commitment to providing students with a one-on-one, high-quality training experience; maintain high standards of scholarship; and possess personal attributes that make the faculty member an effective role model for other mentors. Faculty are nominated by the doctoral students whom they mentored for at least one semester and with a significant amount of one-on-one interaction.
Dr. Bitler received a staggering 28 nominations from current and former colleagues, students, postdoctoral scholars, and mentees. Faculty peers and colleagues who nominated Dr. Bitler spoke highly of his ability to connect with others, remarking “Dr. Bitler excels at leadership, compassion, and pure intelligence. He leads by example and is someone I look up to not only as a scientist, but as a mentor. I model many of my own mentorship roles as I have learned from him. He is often heard telling people, his goals are always to advance those around him, never himself.” Another faculty member echoed this sentiment and commented on how Dr. Bitler promotes a healthy work-life balance and wrote “He emphasizes the need for mental health and wellness in a way that in-fact makes his mentees more productive. He is a role model to all of us for this type of balance and equanimity that in fact makes us better citizens of our global academic community.”
Current and former students and postdocs who have worked directly with Dr. Bitler highlighted his incredible level of empathy. One mentee commented “He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and he cares deeply for the well-being of his trainees and their families. We are all fortunate to have him as a researcher, mentor, and friend.” A student who had encountered a difficult personal situation, lauded Dr. Bitler for his emotional support, and reflected “There was a point that I thought I would not finish my thesis and be forced to take medical leave...However, Dr. Bitler was one of several key supporters that motivated me to finish my dissertation. He made time to meet around doctor’s appointments, reviewed any documents I sent his way in a timely manner, and gave emotional support whenever I started to struggle.”
When asked what this award means to him, Dr. Biter stated “I am honored and humbled to receive the prestigious Dean’s Doctoral Mentoring Award. Throughout my own career, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had present and invested mentors. I strongly believe that everyone, regardless of career stage, needs a mentor. I am resolved to build lifelong mentee/mentor relationships that will foster development and growth for both parties.” He added “I see this award as a direct reflection of the mentoring I have received throughout my career and endeavor to share this gift with others in theirs. Thank you to all my mentors and mentees for being such an amazing source of encouragement!”
Dr. Bitler is one of two 2023 award recipients along with Dr. Aaron Johnson. Previous award recipients are listed below.
2022: Jason Aoto, PhD, Department of Pharmacology
2021: Heide Ford, PhD, Department of Pharmacology
2020: Rebecca Schweppe, PhD, Department of Medicine; and Vanessa Phelan, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
2019: Sean Colgan, PhD, Department of Immunology and Microbiology
2018: Cory Christiansen, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation-Physical Therapy; and Jennifer Kiser, PharmD, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
2017: Matthew Kennedy, PhD, Department of Pharmacology; and Rytis Prekeris, PhD, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
2016: Jared Brown, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Gidon Felsen, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics; and Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation-Physical Therapy
2015: Ulli Bayer, PhD, Department of Pharmacology; Laurel Lenz, PhD, Department of Immunology and Microbiology; and Jennifer Richer, PhD, Department of Pathology
2014: Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, Department of Epidemiology; Elan Eisenmesser, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics; Ross Kedl, PhD, Department of Immunology and Microbiology; and Nancy Zahniser, PhD, Department of Pharmacology
2013: James McManaman, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Deb Glueck, PhD, Department of Pediatrics-Endocrinology; and Gary Grunwald, PhD, Department of Biostatistics and Informatics
2012: David Bentley, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics; Uday Kompella, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Daniel Tollin, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
2011: Mark Dell’Acqua, PhD, Department of Pharmacology; Roxie Foster, PhD, Nursing; and Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD, Department of Ophthamology
About The Graduate School | The Graduate School at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz) oversees, facilitates, and enhances graduate education and postdoctoral training, while encouraging excellence in research, creative and scholarly work. We offer master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate certificates, and non-degree options in a wide variety of programs.