College of Engineering News Room

Sudeep Sarkar Receives William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award


sudeep award

Sudeep Sarkar, professor and chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was recently honored with a 2017 William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award by the Florida Education Fund's McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program. Annually, the award provides McKnight Doctoral Fellows with the opportunity to recognize faculty who have provided exceptional mentoring toward completion of their doctoral program.

Sarkar was nominated by Earnest Hansley, a doctoral candidate and McKnight Dissertation Fellow in his research group. In his nomination letter, Hansley wrote of Sarkar, "I have been the beneficiary of his mentorship and his commitment to creating opportunities for those who are willing to put the work in, plus stick it out with the PhD program. He has given me every opportunity to succeed and it means a lot to me professionally and personally." Since joining USF in 1993 as an assistant professor, Sarkar has graduated 42 graduate students (19 PhD, 23 MS), all of whom have obtained positions within academia, government, and private industry.

As a Fellow of AAAS, Fellow of NAI, Fellow of AIMBE, Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of IAPR, an IEEE-CS Distinguished Visitor Program Speaker (2010-2012), and charter member of the National Academy of Inventors, Sarkar is an internationally known researcher in computer vision and image analysis, and recognition biometrics. Previously, as Associate Vice-President for Research and Innovation, he focused on the institutionalization of faculty external awards and tech entrepreneurship across USF. Currently, he is also the Associate Vice-President for I-Corps programs for USF and leading efforts to foster the transition of publications to products and services to benefit society.

Established in 1984, the Florida Education Fund's McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program has increased statewide the number of African Americans and Hispanic/Latino students awarded PhDs in historically underrepresented, crucial disciplines and fields of study where minority students have not enrolled and completed degree programs such as engineering and computer science. The FEF has awarded over 1200 fellowships statewide and the program with an overall retention rate of 86 percent (95 percent for USF McKnight fellows). Nearly 630 fellows have graduated with doctorates in an average completion time of 5.5 years.

Since 2007, 43 College of Engineering (COE) doctoral students have received five-year fellowships or one-year dissertation awards from the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program. COE McKnight graduates have gained employment in academia, federal and state government, and private industry.

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