Brenda Cossman and Jonathan Abbatt receive 2023 JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award
Brenda Cossman, a professor in the Faculty of Law, and Jonathan Abbatt, a professor in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, are the recipients of the 2023 JJ Berry Smith Award for Doctoral Supervision.
The award, given annually by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), aims to recognize outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with graduate supervision. Candidates must be active faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in supervision at U of T over a period of at least 15 years.
Two awards are offered every year: one for the humanities/social sciences and one for the physical/life sciences. Each winner receives a conference or travel grant to award to a student, a framed certificate of recognition and has their name inscribed on a plaque at SGS.
“As a supervisor, I am so honoured to be given this award,” Cossman says. “Knowing that my students saw fit to support my nomination – that to me is worth its weight in gold.”
Cossman has supervised eight master's students and 14 doctoral students since 2003 – a high number for the Faculty of Law, which typically admits fewer than 50 graduate students per year.
Abbatt, an atmospheric and environmental chemist, has supervised 16 PhD students and 12 master’s students since joining U of T in 2000.
“A lot of the value for me of this position comes from interacting with people,” he says. “And to know that students have found those interactions meaningful is wonderful.”