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BABAO Mentorship Award 2023

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At the 2023 Annual Meeting at University College London (UCL), BABAO’s third Mentorship Award was awarded to Dr Sarah Schrader.

It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude that we submit this nomination for Dr Sarah A. Schrader for this year’s BABAO Mentorship Award. Dr Schrader currently works as Assistant Professor in Osteoarchaeology and as the director of the Laboratory for Human Osteoarchaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. Dr. Schrader joined the Faculty of Archaeology in 2017, and since then she has been a true inspiring figure in her role as a lecturer, researcher, and supervisor. Her commitment to the success and progress of both her students and peers does not only make her a dedicated and exceptional mentor, but also the ideal candidate for this recognition.

Dr Schrader embodies the qualities of an exemplary mentor and supervisor. At the Laboratory for Human Osteoarchaeology, her ability to treat students and colleagues with respect and encourage open lines of communication has created an environment of mutual trust and collaboration, where growth and continuous improvement is fostered. Dr Schrader consistently goes above and beyond by dedicating time and energy to engage with her students, as well as with her colleagues and research team.

Through constructive criticism and feedback, Dr Schrader helps both students and colleagues to set and achieve their academic goals. Her insightful guidance and expertise have enabled individuals to navigate their research projects effectively and to realize their full potential: in the past years, she has supported several successful PhD applications and has actively encouraged students to present their work at international conferences. She also plays a major role in assisting colleagues in applying for funding opportunities. Her dedication to the success of her mentees has resulted in numerous achievements and recognitions, and we are sure it will soon result in many more. Furthermore, Dr Schrader enthusiastically supports the publication of her mentees’ work. She demonstrates an unwavering commitment to assisting in manuscript preparation, editing, and providing invaluable insights to enhance both quality and impact of the publications she supervises.

Dr Schrader is also committed to building strong networks. This is evident in her efforts to establish connections both within and outside Leiden University. She recognizes the importance of academic collaboration and actively fosters connections that are vital to her students’ and colleagues’ professional development. By opening the doors to many visiting researchers and students from all over the world to come and analyze skeletal material at the Laboratory for Human Osteoarchaeology, Dr Schrader also facilitates networking opportunities for her mentees at Leiden, supporting international collaboration within their projects and enabling them to establish meaningful relationships that contribute to their career advancement. 

Lastly, in times of difficulty Dr Schrader provides unyielding support and encouragement. She offers valuable assistance, guidance, and benevolence to people facing challenges, ensuring that they never feel alone in their academic as well as in their personal journeys. Dr Schrader’s mentorship extends beyond academia, instilling confidence and resilience in her colleagues, enabling them to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

In conclusion, Dr Schrader exemplifies an outstanding mentor, supervisor, and laboratory head. Her dedication to teaching, research, and academic service is matched by her exceptional support, guidance, and commitment to the success of her mentees. We wholeheartedly recommend Dr Schrader the BABAO Mentorship Award as she is truly deserving of this recognition for her exceptional contributions to the academic community at Leiden University and beyond.

Text prepared by Maia Casna (nominator), and supported by Rachael Hall, Alex Tutwiler, Marijke Langevoort, and Dr Veronica Tamorri.