Soichiro Yamada Receives Chancellor's Mentorship Award
Associate professor, Soichiro Yamada, is a recipient of the 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. This annual award was instituted by UC Davis in 1994 as a way to emphasize the importance and visibility of faculty’s contribution to the excellence in mentoring and advocacy for undergraduate research.
Yamada believes that the first impression of a research experience is important for aspiring researchers, so he aims to provide a positive learning experience in his labs and classrooms. “When I was an undergraduate student, I was mentored by a graduate student who spent countless hours teaching me all aspects of research. That initial research experience led me to graduate school and eventually a career in biomedical research.”
Students who have been mentored by Yamada can be heard describing him as a champion for undergraduate students who provides hands-on training and mentorship. He is known for taking a chance on students who have no prior experience and continues to give advice and guidance even after the students have left UC Davis.
In the process of doing research, occasionally you get to observe things that no one else has seen. For students, this means that they have most likely overcome difficulties of designing and executing the experiment. They have also made themselves aware of prior literature on the topic, so they know that no one else has made this observation. Yamada says this is the most rewarding part of being a mentor. “When you see the students recognize and appreciate this, it is a good feeling.”