Professor Smit receives 2017 Excellence in Mentoring Award

Professor Anneke SmitWindsor Law Professor, Anneke Smit, will be honoured during the Alumni Association Annual General Meeting for her efforts to guide and mentor students.

Smit is the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Mentoring Award. The Excellence in Mentoring Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence by offering personal, academic and professional guidance to students up to and following graduation. 

“Mentoring happens in many different ways,” explained Smit. “It is as simple as a brief conversation with a student about where they might look for opportunities related to their interest, it can be something achieved through opportunities to work one on one, or in small groups with students and it can extend over years.”

Smit’s nomination, authored by alumni and students, citied countless examples of mentorship gestures in support of the accolade.

“Dr. Smit is the kind of mentor who views her role as enduring long past the formal boundaries of the classroom,” wrote one alum. “She is committed to helping others pursue a more enriched life of lifelong learning and challenging oneself with academic undertakings.”

Another shared that, “she showed a commitment to mentorship beyond what may be required as a law school professor, she exhibited a personal concern for my development and academic/professional trajectory.” 

Each support letter shared personal stories and examples about the outstanding encouragement Smit provided to ensure a student’s success during and after law school. Many of the students worked with Smit on projects relating to research and advocacy in refugee policy and property law.

“Her dedication to her students both past and present, and to the faculty at Windsor Law, is remarkable,” stated her nominators. “It is clear Professor Smit’s mentoring has extended beyond my Windsor Law tenure, which indicates her commitment to her students.”

“This award is a true testament to and an important public recognition of Professor Smit’s tireless dedication to our students and their learning experience at Windsor Law,” shared Myra Tawfik, Acting Dean of Windsor Law. “We are very proud of her achievements.”

Smit recognizes the critical impact that mentors can have on students and praises her mentors for taking the time to support her.

When it comes to providing guidance, Smit emphasizes the importance of personalising advice to the students’ interests and providing an excellent law school experience:

Law school puts a lot of pressure on students to want the same things as they think other students are looking for, or which they think are the traditional badges of success in legal careers.  But our students arrive with many different aspirations and should leave with the tools to pursue these, personalized to them.  Mentors can help students stick to their own plans and validate them. 

Smit, who is currently on sabbatical in The Netherlands, is disappointed she won’t be able to accept the award in person. Professor Gemma Smyth will accept the award on her behalf.

“I hope that those who nominated me, and the University of Windsor Alumni Association, know how much the award means to me,” said Smit.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Smit.