Kinohi Nishikawa honored for excellence in mentoring graduate students

Written by
Jennifer Altmann for the Office of Communications
May 18, 2023

Nishikawa, associate professor of English and African American studies, is one of four faculty members named recipients of Graduate Mentoring Awards by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate School. They will be honored during the Graduate School’s Hooding and Recognition Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 29.

The award winners are Elizabeth Davis, associate professor of anthropology; Luc Deike, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Kinohi Nishikawa, associate professor of English and African American studies; and Lindy McBride, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and neuroscience.

The mentoring award recognizes Princeton faculty members who nurture the intellectual, professional and personal growth of their graduate students. Graduate students nominate faculty members for the award, and they serve on the committee that selects the winners along with faculty members and senior staff from the McGraw Center and the Graduate School. The award honors faculty in each academic division and includes a $1,000 prize and a commemorative gift.

Kinohi Nishikawa

Kinohi Nishikawa joined the faculty in 2014. He studies 20th- and 21st-century African American literature, book history, and popular culture.

“He is the kind of professor and mentor I aspire to be for my own students,” one student commented, observing that Nishikawa has his students’ projects “in the back of his mind at all times — often passing along academic and professional opportunities (conferences, symposia, funding, etc.) he feels are appropriate to our research interests.”

Other students were grateful for Nishikawa’s deep interest in not just their intellectual development but also the rest of their lives as graduate students and beyond. “He is the mentor who gives life advice; he is the mentor who helps to professionally advance students; and he is the mentor who sits with our intellectual work and treats it seriously, raising it to the level of intellectual treatise.”

Another student summed up his influence this way: “I would not have achieved the intellectual and personal growth I did without his mentorship.”

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