Troy Hall Recognized for Excellence in Mentoring
For conservation social sciences professor Troy Hall working with graduate students is the best part of her job. In recognition of the attention she devotes to her students, Hall is this year’s recipient of the U-Idaho’s Donald Crawford Graduate Faculty Mentoring Award.
The award was established in 2006 to honor the efforts of graduate faculty who excel as mentors of graduate students. The award, named for its first recipient, Donald L. Crawford, is part of the Graduate and Professional Student Association’s and College of Graduate Studies’ continuing efforts to support excellent mentoring of graduate students at the University of Idaho. Hall was nominated by students, faculty and staff.
“Our job as mentors is to push our students to think critically and independently, to challenge them to near the point of discomfort, and then to help guide them to the next level,” said Hall, who is also the director of Graduate Programs for the College of Natural Resources.
“We strive to attract the best and the brightest students to our graduate programs,” said CNR Dean Kurt Pregitzer. “Troy has the ability to hone them into scientists, leaders and educators who will inform decisions about natural resources management issues in our country and around the world.”
Hall’s students admire her for her guidance and for the care she takes to provide them with experiences that will help them develop the knowledge and networks they need to move forward in their careers.
“Dr. Hall’s mentorship has not only instilled confidence in my own skills and research abilities, she has helped me develop a passion for pursuing a career in applying science to understanding important questions related to the intersection of society and nature,” said doctoral student Chad Kooistra.
Hall earned her master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Duke University and her doctorate in forest resources from Oregon State University. She worked as a wilderness ranger for the U.S. Forest Service for 13 seasons before becoming a faculty member in the Department of Forestry at Virginia Tech. Troy left that 12-month, tenure-track position in 2000 to join the Conservation Social Sciences Department at U-Idaho, primarily, she says, because of the strength of the CSS graduate program.
“I see the years spent in graduate school as a time in which people can acquire habits of mind and action that will benefit them in their careers and as citizens,” she said.
“I hope that through my teaching, research and mentoring interactions with students, I can help instill in them a love of inquiry, a sense of citizenship and an acceptance of the important responsibilities they will assume, whether that be as resource managers, educators or other professionals.”
Hall is recognized nationally for her research on wilderness visitors. In 2009 she received the Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research Award, one of the highest national awards given by the U.S. Forest Service. As a core member of the Forest Service’s Wilderness Information Management Steering Team, she helped create the national program for monitoring wilderness character. She also has contributed to more than 30 training courses around the country and four online training modules for the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.