Published: Aug. 23, 2021
Jay McMahon

Associate Professor Jay McMahon has been recognized with an Outstanding Faculty Graduate Advisor Award.

The honor, bestowed by the College of Engineering and Applied Science, recognizes faculty who demonstrate exceptional advising skills and who serve as role models to other advisors. Honorees are selected based on the scores and comments from class surveys and nomination forms.

Positive submissions for McMahon included:

“As a mentor, he makes time for every one of his 20+ students in our lab and provides weekly feedback on our progress. He frequently provides us with help from general research knowledge, stress management techniques, to improving our writing skills for publications. One thing that stands out about Jay, besides being an incredibly supportive and effective advisor, is his commitment to diversity and inclusion regarding minorities in STEM. He is actively invested in providing opportunities for many students from underrepresented backgrounds and the presence of women, racial minorities, and international students in our lab shows how his recruitment practices reflect these beliefs.”

“Being an international student in the lab and staying miles apart from home during this time of the pandemic, there had been so many times that left me feeling anxious and low. But Dr. McMahon has been there to even emotionally support his students. I can be myself in front of him without having the fear of being judged. He is an amazing mentor and an amazing human being.”

“I am a first-generation college student, and I know I would not be where I am today if it were not for the support I got from Jay. He has always been there for me, looking after my interest and making sure that I have everything I need to be successful. His belief in me gives me confidence and encourages me to undertake new challenges.  Since the beginning of my graduate career, I try many new things, from giving talks at conferences to have multiple internships. And this is because Jay helps nurture and elevate the scientist and researcher he saw in me the day he hired me.”

McMahon is the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and has been a member of the department faculty since 2013. His research focuses on astrodynamics and autonomous guidance, navigation and control. Asteroid (46829) McMahon was named in his honor in 2016.