After nearly two decades at OSU, Anna Harding has served as major professor for 45 graduate students in public health. On top of that, she has been minor professor, Graduate Council representative and/or committee member for more than 130 others in various departments. "Every student for whom she has served as the major adviser has completed his or her program of study," notes Marie Harvey, chair of the Department of Public Health.
As Harding sums it up: "I never let my students quit."
What does it take to shepherd students through one of the toughest challenges they'll ever face? Here's Harding's top-10 list:
Spend time getting to know the students and their goals
Be flexible and empathetic about their personal lives
Identify their strengths and help them build on those
Acknowledge their weaknesses and help them overcome those
Create a manageable research process by taking a step-by-step approach
Set high standards so students are proud of their work
Nurture their curiosity, creativity and confidence
Celebrate achievements along the way
Help them develop a network of contacts in the professional field
Maintain an open-door policy for easy student access