Congratulations to Dr. Spencer Olmstead, one of 2018’s winners of the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award.
Olmstead treats his mentoring relationships according to their individual concerns and aspirations, recognizing the unique qualities of each student. Through this, he has developed a closely knit team with his graduate assistants and undergraduate researchers, one which gives students recognition and ownership of their accomplishments. Kayley Davis writes that Olmstead “ensures that any student he mentors is aware of the contribution of their work” and gives opportunities for authorship and presentation, while Kevin Treadway says, “One of my favorite things about Dr. Olmstead is the trust he placed in me.”
Olmstead’s mentorship has given students confidence and a greater recognition of their own place in the larger academic community, opening the way to the improvement of society through research. Treadway goes on to say, “This trust that was placed in me instilled me with a sense of confidence that helped me work on my own research to the best of my abilities. In the end, Dr. Olmstead has been an absolutely amazing mentor to me. He has trusted me, listened to me, instructed me, and led me to see the ways in which research is vital to the expansion of knowledge and betterment of society.”
Dr. Olmstead is an associate professor in child and family studies, and he is co-director of the Well-Being in Adolescents and Emerging Adults Laboratory. He received his PhD from Florida State University. His current research studies the sexual health and well-being of young adults, in particular young adult men’s sexual and reproductive health.