Foster’s students describe him as an outstanding scientist and mentor who cares deeply about his students’ learning, creativity, growing independence, career development, and wellbeing. He engages each individual on their own terms, drawing up their interests and ambitions, and actively seeks out ways or opportunities to help them fulfill these goals. Foster is consistently described as a role model, not only for his scientific achievements and mentorship, but also for championing gender equity, work-life balance, and de-stigmatization in support of those with mental health challenges.
The Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring recognize faculty members with outstanding ability to foster the intellectual, professional, and personal development of graduate students. Award winners encourage, inspire, and support students to reach their fullest potential in ways that are tailored to each individual. This award acknowledges Foster’s profound impact on innumerable students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and colleagues.
The Killam Awards are adjudicated by a committee chaired by the Dean and Vice Provost of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Video footage extracted from 2019 Fall Graduation live stream by UBC Ceremonies and Events
A version of this story originally appeared on the Michael Smith Laboratories website.