by Robert Salisbury
Published March 4, 2021
Jinhui Xu is one of three UB faculty to receive the 2020-21 Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award, given out by the Graduate School to recognize UB faculty for their support and development of graduate students through their mentoring activities.
The award, established in 2012, goes annually to members of the graduate faculty who have demonstrated “truly outstanding and sustained support and development of graduate students from course completion through research and subsequent career placement.”
All three of the winners will be recognized at UB’s Celebration of Faculty and Staff Excellence in fall 2021.
Xu, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was nominated by his department chair, SUNY Distinguished Professor Chunming Qiao.
In his nomination letter, Qiao emphasized Xu’s dedication to students by highlighting the number he has advised and mentored, noting that to date Xu has supervised the research of 22 PhD students — 18 of whom have already graduated — as well as 28 master’s students.
Xu’s guidance helped his students succeed while at UB and later during their job searches, Qiao said.
“Seven of the graduated PhD students are now in academia,” he wrote, “including professors in some world-renowned universities like University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Science and Technology of China. All others are in leading IT companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Bloomberg Inc.”
Qiao cites one student, now a well-accomplished professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as Xu’s most successful mentoring story. The student was progressing slowly and lacked confidence, but his struggles did not deter Xu.
“Jinhui encouraged me to be ambitious when applying for faculty positions,” the student wrote in a letter supporting Xu’s nomination. “He helped me prepare application materials, as well as provided tons of suggestions on how to interview well. Most faculty members do so with their students — but Jinhui’s involvement was intensive from start to finish. It is no surprise that many students mentored by Jinhui have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry.”