Alumni Association Recognizes Psychology Professor as Top Graduate Research Mentor

Posted: May 23, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Gordon Asmundson, Professor of Psychology.
Dr. Gordon Asmundson, Professor of Psychology. U of R Photography.

Gordon Asmundson — Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Mentorship

Described as a “transformational leader” and “archetypal mentor” by students and colleagues, Gordon Asmundson has successfully led many University of Regina psychology students through their graduate research.

More than 35 graduate students have benefited from Asmundson’s mentorship as both a graduate supervisor and thesis committee member. Those students have gone on to become local, national and international leaders as researchers, professors, and clinicians.

Asmundson’s graduate students frequently laud the laboratory environment Asmundson creates and maintains at the University of Regina. One student noted, “In a discipline which is infamous for competitive and uncooperative interpersonal and professional interactions between students, Gord has implemented a system which breeds collaboration, cooperation, and mutual respect.”

The lab’s trademark high morale is due not only to Asmundson’s positivity, but also to the peer-mentorship system he has established. Junior students are supervised by senior students, who are in turn guided by Asmundson. This system builds strong relationships, a collaborative environment, and future leaders in the discipline, and it has been described by one former student as deeply empowering.

“Dr. Asmundson is an elite, globally influential researcher in the field of mental health. It would be difficult to overstate the pervasive positive impact he has had on health science – impact that is recognized the world over as coming from Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Nick Carleton. “More than a research leader, Dr. Asmundson is an archetypal mentor for new researchers and students, paving the way for sustained development of globally-recognized excellence that stems from Saskatchewan. He exemplifies the very best of Saskatchewan, stands as an exemplar leader for the province, and as such is very deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

An accomplished researcher himself, Asmundson has been recognized with the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and an induction as a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honour a researcher can receive.

His work in the areas of anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder, just to name a few, have made him an influential global thinker in the field of mental health. Through his own research excellence, Asmundson is well positioned to provide strong guidance and leadership for his graduate students.

The Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Mentorship focuses on the impact of the candidate’s mentorship on his growth and development as a mentor, the development and growth of his mentees as future scholars and researchers, and the contribution of their shared scholarship and research to the lives of other students and academics who witness and cite their work.