Dr. Michael Childress received the 2015 Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Creative inquiry Mentoring at the may 7 general Faculty meeting.
Dr. Childress, an associate professor in biological sciences, has hosted a Creative Inquiry team since the early days of the program, serving as mentor to 44 undergraduates and involving his graduate students as additional mentors to the younger students. His project was featured in the inaugural issue of Decipher magazine, in 2012, in the article, Don’t be Crabby: Creative Inquiry Students are Making a Splash.
Michael’s students are exceedingly productive — they have made 21 presentations at professional conferences, have produced at least one publication (with a graduate student in the lab), and describe their work on an ongoing basis through their blog.
His students respect and like him, in great part because he obviously cares about them. A student made the following comment, in nominating Dr. Childress for this award:
Dr. Childress is a brilliant teacher and communicator and really cares about the success of his students. I spend a good part of every week in the lab, even when I’m not working specifically on data analysis for the project. I credit this largely to the camaraderie among the students and mentors on the CI team. Dr. Childress is always willing to help us with our projects but he also challenges us to think for ourselves and figure out problems without being told the answer. Research with Dr. Childress has really changed my Clemson experience. It’s opened my eyes to real world issues and allowed me to cultivate skills I couldn’t have gained in a regular classroom setting.