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Two Graduate Students Honored for Their Exceptional Mentorship

April 5, 2024
Originally published by Bass Connections


Master’s student Mia Buono (Global Health) and doctoral student Jade Terry (Psychology & Neuroscience) are the co-winners of the 2024 Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship. This annual award recognizes the crucial leadership and mentorship roles that graduate/professional students and postdocs play on Bass Connections teams. 

Both winners will receive a monetary prize.

In addition to Buono and Terry, the finalists for this year’s award included:

Mia Buono

Mia Buono is a second-year student in the Master of Science in Global Health program. She is interested in data-driven approaches to advancing health systems, access to care and improving global mental health. 

In her role as a mentor on her team, Buono has helped organize, collect and archive oral history interviews, including helping to teach students interview approaches and best practices. She has also helped the team refine their data collection processes, including guiding and maintaining the team’s ethical protocols and translating them for students. 

Praise for Buono

“Mia has elevated my Bass Connections experience both because of her expertise and also her ability to build community with students. I've appreciated how she trained us to have better considerations as interviewers and also used her expertise on qualitative data analysis to help us later interpret those interviews … She's always ready to do the difficult things to keep pushing our goals forward. Her impact on me has been going above and beyond the role of a Bass Connections team member and mentor by helping me strengthen and transfer the skills I've gained in our team research to my independent pursuits.” –Undergraduate Team Member

“[Mia] made a massive and constant effort to become familiar with our work and took the initiative to make improvements to our workflow. She took her time to teach us our new tasks. She answers our questions, day or night, and eases any worries we have about interviews or assignments ... As the youngest member of this Bass Connections team, I felt intimidated going into such an amazing team of people. Mia has done an amazing job at helping me feel prepared and able to help contribute to this team!” –Undergraduate Team Member

“Mia has been a reliable and knowledgeable partner for the students and class leaders. She is a calm, supportive resource for the students and brings an optimistic attitude to [the] very difficult and deep work we are doing … She is the type of leader [who is] already comfortable with not being the center of attention and instead can focus on improving the work of the team.” –Team Leaders

Jade Terry

Jade Terry is a second-year doctoral student in Psychology & Neuroscience. A cognitive neuroscientist, her work investigates how trauma and adversity affect decision making.

In her role on the Trauma-Informed Courts: A Public Health Approach to Juvenile Justice project team, Terry leads a subteam of students who are analyzing data collected from courtroom observations and interviews. She has trained students in quantitative and qualitative research collection and analysis, including teaching students how to use R, a core statistical programming software. She has also worked with students to write up their findings for a manuscript based on the team’s work.

Praise for Terry

“I was slightly nervous about being a part of this team. I did not have any neuroscience or legal research experience and was joining the course in the middle of the research process … I [also] had little experience coding; I had only taken one statistics course. However, Jade made this process so much smoother than I could have hoped. She took time to ensure I was caught up to speed with what had occurred in the previous semesters of the research and what we were planning to do in the semesters moving forward … Jade did a wonderful job of making herself approachable by talking to us after class if we had questions and being very responsive via emails if there were things we needed clarification on from one class meeting to another. By that same token, she also gave us space to figure things out on our own and be willing to make mistakes … which allowed us to facilitate more growth than if she had just handed us the answers.” –Ana Herndon, Undergraduate Team Member

“Jade’s influence on my Bass Connections experience has been invaluable ... Her immense dedication, knowledge and unwavering encouragement not only sharpened my skills as a researcher and coder but also cultivated a sense of comfort and confidence within our project sub-team … Outside of specific project teamwork, Jade has offered me an immense amount of advice with regards to potential professional paths I want to pursue. As a neuroscience major, benefiting from Jade's insights as a graduate student in this field has been profoundly enriching, whether she is discussing professors at Duke with me or new research that I should look into at the intersection of neuroscience and law. It has been so inspiring to hear about all the work she accomplishes in pursuit of her degree in addition to the vast amount of work and encouragement she provides to us as undergraduate team members.” –Anya Milberg, Undergraduate Team Member

“Jade became part of the team right as we were beginning to conduct courtroom observations around the state. She jumped full steam into the project – learning everything she could about our research as well as committing many hours a week to visiting courthouses and collecting data. Though new to the project, she immediately embodied a leadership role. It was clear that the handful of undergraduate students who also observed court over the summer looked to her as a role model in many regards, including how to conduct observations in a professional manner, how to properly code and how to think critically about the interactions and processes we witnessed in court.” –Eva McKinsey, Co-Team Leader

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