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2021 Outstanding Graduate Supervision Award ‑ Vasantha Rupasinghe

Posted by stephanie rogers on May 19, 2021 in News
Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe
Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe

As a world class researcher, having served as an Industry Research Chair, Canada Research Chair, and Killam Chair, Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe has had a profound impact on many graduate students. He has completed the training of 33 graduate students, is currently supervising three M.Sc. students and three Ph.D. students, and is serving on advisory committees for six additional M.Sc. students in the Faculty of Agriculture.

It is not surprising that he is the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Supervision Award for his exceptional support, supervision and advising for graduate students.

In the past five years alone, Dr. Rupasinghe’s graduate students have contributed 85 first-author peer-reviewed research publications, 12 book chapters and 75 national and international conference presentations. The 85 peer-reviewed articles have been cited over 6000 times since 2015, demonstrating their high impact. Over 90 per cent of his publications (career total of 197) have included his graduate students as contributors.

"Dr. Rupasinghe's dedication to research and student supervision make him extremely deserving of the Faculty of Agriculture's Graduate Student Supervision Award,” said Graduate Coordinator Dr. Gordon Price.  “His tireless efforts have also extended to supporting graduate students as an external examiner and Chair of exams and defenses over the years."

His graduate students have won numerous awards, including a first-place award for the graduate student poster competition at the National Food Summit in 2019 and the President of Sri Lanka’s Award for Best Scientific Publication in 2016.

It is clear from his nomination package that Dr. Rupasinghe provides high-quality support and mentorship to his graduate students, encouraging their personal and professional growth. Here are a few quotes from his students:

“His involvement in professional organizations such as Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) makes him a role model, and he constantly inspires graduate students to demonstrate high leadership skills. His innovative thinking and passion for research, coupled with a genuine interest in students’ needs and progress, make him an exemplary candidate for receiving the Outstanding Graduate Supervision Award”.

“Dr. Rupasinghe strongly supports his students' professional development by encouraging and funding academic activities such as traveling for conferences, participating in workshops/training, publishing papers, and exploring a broad spectrum of relevant academic interests.”

“I strongly believe that I worked with one of the best supervisors a graduate student can have, and the success I gained as a graduate student would have remained a dream had it not been for the tremendous support, guidance, and care of Dr. Rupasinghe.”