Antje Heese received the 2023 CAFNR Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award at the Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony April 11. She is an associate professor of biochemistry and part of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group; she chaired the Graduate Admissions Committee for biochemistry from 2018-20.
Heese’s graduate students have achieved highly, thanks to her expert mentorship, according to nominators. For example, her students have given a total of 19 talks, including 10 at international conferences; presented 35 poster presentations; received 18 travel grants; been awarded nine fellowships; and have published 11 scientific publications.
“Antje has high expectations and challenges her students to become the best they can be, equipping them with the necessary tools to succeed,” said Charlotte Phillips, professor and director of graduate studies, biochemistry. “Antje challenges and mentors graduate students to not only become outstanding researchers and educators, but also to be responsible, discerning, and sensitive to important societal, diversity and cultural issues.”
“As an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipient, I had the opportunity to join almost any biochemistry lab in the United States. I selected Dr. Heese’s lab due to her research interests and evident commitment to graduate student development,” said former student Erica Mueller. “Dr. Heese’s mentorship style transcends scientific development and encompasses multiple facets of professional development tailored to an individual’s ambitions.”
“Antje is the most deeply caring and highly involved mentor I have encountered at MU and in my career,” said nominator David Braun, director, Interdisciplinary Plant Group. “I wish it were possible for her to mentor all of our graduate students!”