September 26, 2016

Dr. Richardson receives distinguished research mentor award

Nominated for her outstanding contributions as a research mentor, advocate, and collaborator, Dr. Richardson will be honored at the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) ceremony on October 14th.


Caroline R. Richardson, M.D., the Dr. Max and Buena Lichter Research Professor of Family Medicine, is a 2016 recipient of the MICHR Distinguished  Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award. The award honors University of Michigan faculty members who have demonstrated consistently high quality research and career mentoring in areas of clinical & translational research. Dr. Richardson was nominated by mentees and colleagues, from doctoral students to senior investigators. Their testimonies highlight Dr. Richardson's genuine and steadfast commitment to mentorship and the deep impact her advocacy has had in the lives and the communities she has supported. Below are just a few of the stories shared by Dr. Richardson's mentees and colleagues:

"Dr. Richardson is astonishing in her ability to uniquely understand what each mentee needs to become successful. In her position, she works with a wide variety of investigators from undergraduate students new to health services research, to doctoral-level investigators, to colleagues across several disciplines. As a physician investigator, I have found Caroline to inherently understand my needs. But I also see this individualized mentoring as I watch her support doctoral students through their career path as well. It is my belief that it takes a special individual to be a successful mentor to such a variety of mentees and to do it with such grace and joy. You can tell Caroline sees mentorship not as a job, but as part of her personal mission."  

-U-M faculty member, research investigator

"When I first started working at the University of Michigan, I distinctly remember hearing about the 10+ realms where junior faculty could use mentorship. After thinking about these areas, I realized very quickly that 10 different mentors wouldn’t be needed if everyone had a Caroline.”   

-U-M faculty member, research investigator

"From our initial meeting I was struck by Caroline’s genuine interest in my development, delivered in her consistent direct style, which persists to the present day. Although she is not a member of an underrepresented minority group, she certainly has consistently shown an appreciation and understanding for the issues that those of us who are may confront. Caroline demonstrated a remarkable ability to listen to my own research priorities, probe my research aims, and provide necessary support as I developed my mixed methods dissertation."

-Charles Senteio, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., M.B.A.,  Assistant Professor, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

"Dr. Richardson always goes above and beyond to make herself available to her mentees - even when it is very inconvenient for her. She was one of my formal mentors as a post doc and was involved in helping me design and evaluate my study. I was on a hard deadline to submit my research project in a special issue of a journal. At the last minute, there was a need to review the statistics we had conducted prior to submission that occurred the day she was moving into a new home. Despite a hectic day, Dr. Richardson sat with me for two hours in her new home, amidst the chaos of many people transporting furniture. Thanks to her willingness to meet at that time, we made the deadline and our paper was accepted."

-Michelle Segar, Ph.D., M.P.H.,Director, Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center, University of Michigan

“Caroline is an inspiring role model for junior investigators, particularly women. She gave me the best guidance I have ever received in my career - that the only way to be successful as an academic researcher was to take care of myself and my family first - without apologies. She reassured me the rest of life and my career would fall into place if I followed this rule. While I have been given this advice many times throughout my life, Caroline communicated this sentiment with such authenticity and passion that it left a deep impression me. Since then, I have made significant changes in my attitude and behavior, and am a happier person both at home and work.” 

-Justine P. Wu, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Richardson will be honored along with the other recipients of the distinguished mentor award at the MICHR forum on October 14, 2016 at Danto Auditorium in the Cardiovascular Center. Check-in and a light breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a presentation by David J. Brown, M.D. on the topic of mentoring for diversity and inclusion. Dr. Brown is Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health Equity and Inclusion in the Medical School and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The award ceremony will follow, with awards presented by George Mashour, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Mashour is Associate Dean for Clinical & Translational Research, Medical School; Executive Director of MICHR; and Executive Director for Translational Research, Office of Research. Attendees can register here for this free event.

Read the UMHS Headlines feature and learn more about the October 14th MICHR ceremony