Mike Vasseur

Mike Vasseur, 2012 Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor

Fellow students found Mike to be extremely patient, especially with regard to statistics:

“Statistics courses as a first year are tough enough to make anyone want to switch exclusively to qualitative research. The information is new and difficult. He has an outstanding skill to explain complex and difficult concepts simply. This is due largely to his adeptness at explaining complicated statistics, but is also largely a factor of his patience and effort…. He explains things multiple ways and does not give up until he has helped aid my understanding. He is truly an expert and his passion is infectious.”

“Although he is incredibly talented at statistical analysis and works at an advanced level, it is easy for him to transition to the point of view of the students, to assess where our confusion lies, and to work with us from that level. He makes students feel comfortable asking even the most basic questions…. He has been endlessly patient in explaining the answers; he will continue to patiently explain a concept until I feel comfortable using it myself.”

They also appreciated him branching outside of his substantive interests:

“While my own work does not fall into his area of expertise, he has put serious effort into helping me develop my ideas. He has always been able to provide a helpful and fresh perspective on my research.”

He has been a general resource in accommodating to graduate school:

“As a newly arriving graduate student, I was completely lost as to what courses to choose for my first semester. He made sure to meet with me and advise me on the faculty and courses offered. He was no less instrumental in his advice about my coursework the second semester. His advice has always been frank and helpful…. Knowing what to expect and understanding the “system” of graduate school is not an easy thing for a first year student. He has helped me understand what to expect in graduate school, and to anticipate and prepare. I have avoided confusions and difficulties due to his foresight and wisdom.”

“Moving to a new city and starting graduate school is difficult. This difficult life transition was aided greatly by his mentorship. He has gone out of his way to set up multiple informal meetings with me to discuss graduate school and any issues I have had."