Nelson-Gray selected as the 2021–2022 Graduate School Outstanding Faculty Mentor
Dr. Nelson-Gray has been a faculty member at UNCG for over 50 years and she has served as a Faculty Advisor to an astounding number of trainees: 75 doctoral students and 90 master’s students. She has been described as an “accessible, engaged mentor, who provides mentees with guidance that goes beyond the classroom and the lab.”
Her students are themselves leaders in the field and attribute their successes to Dr. Nelson Gray’s “incredible mentorship based on unconditional positive regard, optimism, and practical guidance on how to be successful in academia and life.” She is further described as someone who “projects not just leadership, intellectual acumen, scientific integrity, fairness, and respect, but also a warm, kind, humble and compassionate predisposition.”
Nelson-Gray is known for embracing individual differences. She has worked with the Newcomers School, the Elon Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, and Dream Camp
(a summer camp for children on the autism spectrum) and encouraged her students to work with those from different backgrounds. One student who identifies as a member of an underrepresented group describes their ability in working with Dr. Nelson Gray to have “the freedom to breathe and speak frankly” and to “see limitless possibilities” for themselves.
In his nomination letter, Dr. Bob Wiley noted that “Not only are Dr. Nelson Gray’s achievements in her 50 years at UNCG staggering in their breadth but, above all, that the sincere and profound impact she has on her mentees is a true source of inspiration.”