2022 MGA Supervisor of the Year Award

From left to right: Hong Chen, Yuwen Ma, Dr Liang Li, Wenxuan Zhang and Yuejiu Wang.

We are thrilled to announce that the winner of the MGA 2022 Supervisor of the Year is Dr Liang Li from the Faculty of Education. Read on to find out more about the award ceremony and why her students nominated her.

With all the nominations from 2022 reviewed, the MGA Supervisor of the Year Award was announced at a special ceremony held at the Monash Club on Clayton campus in February this year.

The prestigious event was hosted by MGA Executive Committee members Saham Hettiarachchi (Research Education Officer) and Maggie Gendy (International Students’ Officer – Research).

Maggie reminded the audience of the challenges of studying through a pandemic, and the importance of a supportive supervisor throughout the PhD journey.

“Luckily for many of us research students,” said Maggie, “Monash has no shortage of amazing supervisors who go above and beyond to support their students.”

The award attracted a record number of nominations over the past few years, with the MGA receiving close to 90 nominations in 2022, of which 10 supervisors were nominated more than once.

Guest speaker Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) at Monash, emphasised the student-centred nature of the award. Supervisors are nominated by their students and entries are judged by an independent subcommittee of research graduates drawn from the MGA Executive Committee. This year’s panel consisted of four members of the committee who spent almost two days looking over all the nominations.

“It is truly a decision of the graduate student community,” said Professor Georgiou-Karistianis. “Thank you to all the students who took the time to submit their nominations, and to all the great supervisors for doing such a fantastic job promoting research excellence at Monash.”

Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis with Dr Liang Li and MGAEC officer, Maggie Gendy.

The winner of the 2022 MGA Supervisor of the Year was described as not only a professional, dedicated and brilliant supervisor, but also as a friend to her students.

Dr Liang Li, senior lecturer in early childhood education from the Faculty of Education, was announced to much applause.

There was a lot of love, respect and even laughter in the room as four of Dr Li’s students said a few words about why they nominated her for this award.

“Whenever I need help, your inspiring and wise words always encourage me to move forward. Thank you so much for motivating me to push myself further and achieve more than I ever thought I could,” said Yuejiu Wang.

Wenxuan Zhang said, “Liang Li, I am so grateful to be your student. Thank you for being such a great role model in my life. It is you who has restored my faith in contributing to early childhood education.”

Dr Liang Li’s PhD students saying a few words.

Dr Li responded with her own moving speech. “I’m so delighted to be your supervisor,” she said. “I learn a lot from my PhD students. They are inspiring us as supervisors to keep working as well.”

Established in 1992, the MGA Supervisor of the Year was the first award of its kind at Monash University to acknowledge and celebrate the success stories of the student-supervisor relationship. The award was featured in peer-reviewed journal Innovations in Education and Teaching International, where it was recognised as the longest running award of its kind, putting Monash University and Australia ahead of the UK with regards to student-led supervisor awards.

Are you looking for a great supervisor?

Click here to check out our MGA Supervisor of the Year Hall of Fame.