Meet the winners of the 2023 SGS Supervision Awards

Every year, the SGS Supervision Awards aim to recognize the thought and effort that goes into graduate supervision. The annual awards honour active faculty members who, over a minimum of a 15-year period (JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award) or a period of up to 6 years (SGS Early Career Supervision Award), have demonstrated excellence in the multiple roles associated with graduate supervision.

Two JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Awards and two SGS Early Career Supervision Awards are offered annually to successful nominees: one of each award in the Humanities/Social Sciences and in the Physical/Life Sciences.

2023 JJ Berry Smith Award for Doctoral Supervision

Professors Brenda Cossman (Faculty of Law) and Jonathan Abbatt (Department of Chemistry) have received the 2023 JJ Berry Smith Award for Doctoral Supervision.

Brenda Cossman and Jon Abbatt, recipients of the 2023 JJ Berry Smith Award

Brenda Cossman is the Goodman-Schipper Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Toronto. Her teaching and scholarly interests focus on the legal regulation of gender, sexuality and family. Since 2003, Prof. Cossman has supervised 8 LLM students and 14 SJD students, an unusually high number for the Faculty of Law, which typically admits fewer than 50 graduate students a year. She sees her role as a supervisor as not simply providing intellectual guidance, but as fostering community, providing professional mentoring, and supporting students to develop their own unique academic voice. 

Jon Abbatt is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry with a special focus on atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Since 2000, Prof. Abbatt has supervised 16 PhD students and 12 master’s students, and in the past five years alone, has co-authored 45 publications with his students. In his supervision, he aims to provide an enriching environment, introduce students to the wider scientific discipline, support professional development, encourage a work-life balance, and embrace diversity in the broadest possible terms.

Learn more about our winners and how they approach supervision.

2023 SGS Early Career Supervision Award

Assistant Professors Daphne Tan (Faculty of Music) and Kevin Golovin (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering) are the 2023 recipients of SGS’ Early Career Supervision Award.

Daphne Tan and Kevin Golovin, recipients of the 2023 SGS Early Career Supervision Award

Daphne Tan is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory in the Faculty of Music. Her research explores questions about music and the mind, with methodologies and perspectives from the history of music theory and cognitive science. Since joining U of T in 2017, she has supervised four doctoral theses (two completed) and co-supervised a fifth, supervised seven master’s independent projects, and served as an advisory committee member on nine doctoral theses.

Kevin Golovin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is the principal investigator of the Durable Repellent Advanced Engineering Materials (DREAM) Laboratory, and together with his group – whom he affectionately calls the DREAM Team – investigates coatings, surface modification, the mechanics of interfaces, and sustainable methods for achieving solid and liquid repellency. Prof. Golovin joined U of T in 2021 and currently supervises 10 PhD students and three master’s students.

Learn more about Prof. Tan and Prof. Golovin and their impact on students.


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