Stanislav Shvartsman was one of four Princeton University faculty members to be named a recipient of the Graduate Mentoring Awards by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and was honored during the Graduate School’s Hooding ceremony Monday, June 4, on Cannon Green.
Shvartsman, who joined the Princeton faculty in 2001, studies the dynamics of cells and living tissues, using experiments, theory and computation to develop predictive models of biological processes. His graduate students, who call him “Stas,” say Shvartsman is exacting, but extremely supportive. “I was very welcomed in his office and wasn’t afraid of asking him even the most basic questions,” said one student. While Shvartsman is unapologetic about asking questions and pointing out gaps in logic, students are appreciative of the “healthy, constructive criticism” they receive. One student considered dropping out after several failures in his research, but said Shvartsman “took great care in bringing my confidence back, constantly checking on me every day and making sure I was feeling good about my work.” Another was reassured by Shvartsman after botching an expensive experiment. “Instead of getting impatient or angry, Stas calmly discussed a path forward and encouraged me not to get discouraged by setbacks,” she said. Shvartsman also is “extremely helpful with problems that occur outside academia,” often offering his students help with logistical challenges as well as academic ones. Former students say Shvartsman remains interested in their careers well after graduation, providing contacts and reviewing tenure applications. “I hope that over time I will be able to impact students’ lives through supportive mentoring as he has done for me,” said one student, now an associate professor. “I am still his student and continue to learn a great deal from my conversations with him.”
The original version of this story appeared on the Princeton University homepage.