The College of Education’s Claudia Flowers has been called a professor who sets the standard for mentoring graduate students. For this distinction, she is the 2012 recipient of the Harshini V. de Silva Award.
During the award presentation, UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden noted that mentors learn by trial and error, and they exercise creativity with each student encounter. She said Flowers has mastered the art of mentoring. "She is recognized by her colleagues for her approach to the student-mentor relationship, and she is lauded by her students – both present and former – for offering an unparalleled level of support and guidance."
A professor of educational research, statistics and measurement, Flowers joined UNC Charlotte in 1995. During her academic and professional career, she has served on or chaired nearly 80 dissertation committees, and she has published extensively, co-authoring 26 peer-reviewed articles with students and alumni. In addition, Flowers has worked with more than 25 graduate students on externally funded grants; her work has secured or provided expertise on grants totaling nearly
– Joan Lorden, Provost
Nomination letters confirm Flowers to be a mentor who patiently encourages and supports students. In the words of one graduate, "Dr. Flowers understood my passion to learn and fueled it. I cannot imagine a better, more involved, more caring and more knowledgeable graduate advisor."
Flowers earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia and a Master of Exercise Science and doctorate degrees in educational research, measurement and statistics from Georgia State University. She is a reviewer for numerous publications, including Applied Psychological Measurement and the Journal of Educational Measurement. She also provides expertise to a number of advisory panels and boards, such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. She is a member and past-president of the North Carolina Association for Research in Education.
The Harshini V. de Silva Award honors its namesake, an exceptional teacher, brilliant scholar and researcher and devoted servant of her profession and community until her death in October 2000. It is given annually to the faculty member whose commitment to students, research and scholarly inquiry most closely exemplifies the spirit of de Silva.