2014 Outstanding Staff Mentor Award winner announced

By Diana AndersonMay 16, 2014

Senior Nuclear Engineer and Technical Director Keith Bradley is to be honored with Argonne National Laboratory’s 2014 Outstanding Staff Mentor Award. The award recognizes the efforts of an individual who has demonstrated outstanding mentorship and is a dedicated advocate for advancing and mentoring colleagues from all positions and career tenures.

Bradley will be presented with the award at the UChicago Argonne, LLC Board of Governors’ award ceremony in August 2014. Argonne plans to bestow this award annually. 

Principal Nuclear Engineer Taek K. Kim and Argonne Distinguished Fellow Mike Pellin are also to be recognized with honorable mentions for outstanding mentoring practices.

“Of all the awards and accolades I’ve received in my career, this is one of the most meaningful,” Bradley said. “I don’t consider what I do to be mentoring. It comes naturally to me, to reach out and develop early-career colleagues.”

Bradley has mentored multiple Argonne researchers over the last several years, often through informal, everyday interactions.

“It’s a good feeling to see others succeed,” said Bradley. “Helping others is something I really enjoy, working in a collegial environment. And it builds successful and rewarding two-way partnerships that last a lifetime.”

“Keith received multiple nominations for this award,” said Erin L. Thomas, Argonne Gender Diversity Specialist. “The award selection committee conducted a blind review of applications so that both nominee and nominator identities were masked. It was clear that one candidate in particular stood out. The selection committee’s decision was unanimous.”

Thomas is one of the architects of the Outstanding Staff Mentor Award, which was first conceived by the Postdoctoral Society of Argonne. Thomas also served on the award selection committee.

“We strove for a transparent review process,” said Thomas. “Twenty-five percent of individuals’ scores came from their nominators and the selection committee reviewed each of the nominators’ essays to help quantify how deeply and how broadly each nominee was mentoring.”

Eleven points of criteria were used to evaluate individuals from the nominator perspective including the individual’s effectiveness in helping to boost their mentee’s career, provide professional development opportunities, broadcast their mentee’s work and its value to others, facilitate networking opportunities and share tips for a satisfying work-life balance.

“Each of us has a responsibility to provide guidance and encouragement to the next generation of our workforce,” said Thomas. “This award gives Argonne an opportunity to recognize mentoring as integral to maintaining and advancing our programmatic and operational excellence. It’s important to reward employees for helping advance others. Mentoring strengthens our community and, in turn, advances the science we do here.”

Additional information about Argonne's mentoring program is available online.