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Dr. Dilworth-Bart Wins Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring

A photo of Janean Dilwort-Bart
Dr. Janean Dilworth-Bart

Dr. Janean E’guya Dilworth-Bart, SoHE’s Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Phyllis Northway Faculty Fellow, and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, has won the Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring in honor of her outstanding service in mentoring women faculty at the university. The award includes $2,500 from the Women’s Philanthropy Council to direct to a UW–Madison initiative or program of the honoree’s choosing. It was presented to Dr. Dilworth-Bart at the annual Women Faculty Mentoring Program Reception for Newly Promoted & Tenured Women last Thursday, December 3.

SoHE Dean Soyeon Shim nominated Dr. Dilworth-Bart, including testimonials from Drs. Sigan Hartley, Margaret Kerr, Heather Kirkorian, and Kristin Litzelman. Notable themes across their recommendations were Janean’s proactive approach to supporting colleagues through formal initiatives, personal example, and thoughtful, strategic connections. She prioritizes individual conversations with colleagues to hear their concerns and learn their hopes, then advises on a personalized basis with the resources and experience she has gained in her now nearly two decades on campus. The questions that guide her annual reviews are: “What are you most proud of from the past year? What’s your ‘next big thing’? What do you need from me?”

Further, Dr. Dilworth-Bart’s sustained commitment to supporting underrepresented students at SoHE has helped to attract and retain a more diverse group of scholars at the school among both faculty and students. This year, she spearheaded a graduate program recruitment day specifically targeting graduates of HBCUs and launched SoHE’s new Equity and Justice Network to advance the school’s evolution into “a community wherein people with diverse backgrounds find success, share knowledge, and advance justice.”

Beyond this, Janean is known throughout SoHE as a warm and engaging presence, someone eager to lend an ear and share her hard-earned knowledge and contacts to support her colleagues’ success, all while also encouraging their work-life balance and personal well-being—the latter often elusive for women faculty in particular. The Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring, named for the late Rural Sociology professor Dr. Doris Peyser Slesinger, recognizes and supports this contribution at UW–Madison, and SoHE is proud to now have been home to two of its recipients. Dr. Connie Flanagan, now professor emerita of civil society and community studies and former Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at SoHE, won the award in 2017

Read more about Dr. Dilworth-Bart’s research and teaching.