Prof. D. Asher Ghertner, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Director of the Graduate Program in Geography, Rutgers University, was awarded the prestigious Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award on Friday, April 21, 2023, at the NAGS annual meeting in Portsmouth, NH.
The NAGS awards are presented each year to three faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to graduate education. While two awards are given for excellence in teaching, the third award, Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award, is reserved for excellence in mentoring. Dr. Ghertner was the recipient of the latter award, in recognition of his exceptional work as a mentor to his graduate students.
In his ten years at Rutgers, Prof. Ghertner has mentored many graduate students and has served on numerous dissertation committees. His students have gone on to tenure-track positions at research universities and teaching colleges globally, including the University of British Columbia, University of Hong Kong, NYU Shanghai, the Sage Colleges, and Florida State University.
In supporting his nomination, Prof. Ghertner’s colleagues said the following:
“The success of Dr. Ghertner’s students is likely attributable to his practice of engaging his students in a bi-weekly mentoring group, which he calls the Postcolonial Cities Lab (most of Dr. Ghertner’s students work on cities of the Global South). The “lab” approach to mentoring is not typical of human geographers but Dr. Ghertner has adapted it such that it is an effective tool to consistently engage students directly and involve them in each other’s intellectual development and career advancement. Based on the letters of recommendation from his former students and postdocs, it is clear that the lab serves as a robust mentoring space of experimentation and care, a space fostering a strong collaborative community centered on workshopping written work (including proposals, job letters, and draft articles), developing expertise in collaboration and peer-review, and navigating the many stages of academic advancement and professional development… He engages students one-on-one throughout their careers as graduate students, as applicants to academic positions, and as junior scholars establishing their own reputations”.
Prof. Ghertner is a scholar of international repute with a broad range of research interests, including subaltern urbanism, environmental politics, aesthetic governmentality, property, and the uses and limits of gentrification theory. He is also the author or editor of three books and has published widely. In recognition of his scholarly achievements, Prof. Ghertner has been awarded a Fulbright–Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship for the 2023-2024 academic year. During his time as a Fellow, he will be studying the processes of property digitization in the Indian states of Delhi, Goa, and Haryana as part of his new project on digital enclosures.
Prof. Ghertner's dedication to graduate education and his outstanding mentorship skills have made him an asset to the community. His award-winning work continues to inspire his colleagues and students alike.