CFES Mentorship Medal


The CFES mentorship award was created in 2008 to recognize the sustained and inspirational mentorship of colleagues and employees including peers, graduate students, undergraduate students and technicians. The award was set up in honour of Paul F. Williams, a geologist known for scientific and mentoring excellence, candour and integrity.


Mentorship is recognized as a critical part of professional and academic development and is vital to the health of any professional community. With this award, CFES/ recognizes an earth scientist from Canadian industry, academia or government. The award is given annually, provided someone who meets the criterion is nominated.


The sole criterion for the award is excellence in mentoring over a sustained period of time.


CFES Mentorship Medal Nominations

The nominations period for the 2021 CFES Mentorship Medal is open and the application form can be found here as a .pdf or .doc.  The deadline for nominations is January 15th, 2021.

2020 Recipient: Dominique Weis


Professor Dominique Weis of the University of British Columbia is the winner of the 2020 CFES Mentorship Medal. The award is made in recognition of her passion for helping students to achieve their potential and her transformative vision for enriching student training. 

Canada Research Chair and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dominique is internationally respected for the elegance, precision and impact of her geochemical studies of the Earth from large igneous provinces to the environment. She has an exceptional track record of mentoring students and early career researchers, having mentored over 60 graduate students throughout her distinguished career.  Recently, Dominique had the exceptional foresight to establish a national training network for students in geochemistry, which provided a scope of research, training, industry exposure, career development and mentorship that was unique in Canada.

Dominique creates a truly stimulating and inspiring environment for her students, using approaches tailored to their strengths, weaknesses and aspirations, helping to build a strong foundation from which to launch their future careers. Dominique is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion and to advancing the proportion and role of women in the sciences, and takes particular care to mentor young women across the board. Dominique’s unwavering drive for academic excellence, professionalism, and integrity makes her an outstanding scientist, role model, and mentor who is highly deserving of this award.

Past Recipients of the Mentorship Medal

2019 Recipient

Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper

Left: Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper receives the CFES mentorship medal from CFES Past President Iain Samson at the GAC-MAC-IAH conference in Québec City in May 2019. 

Citation by Iain Samson.

Acceptance by Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper

2018 Recipient

Dr. Herb Helmstaedt

Left: Dr. Shoufa Lin (Chair of the Medal Award Committee) presents  Dr. Herb Helmstaedt (left) with his medal on September 29, 2018 in Saint Martyrs Canadiens, Quebec, during the annual field trip and meeting of the Canadian Tectonics Group of the Geological Association of Canada.

Citation by Kathryn Bethune.

Acceptance by Dr. Helmstaedt

2017 Recipient

Prof. Anthony E. (Willy) Williams-Jones, McGill University

Left: Iain Samson presented Dr. Williams-Jones with his medal at SGA (Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits) meeting in Québec City in August.


View the citation here.

Acceptance by Dr. Williams-Jones.

2016 Recipient

Valerie Jackson, Northwest Territories Geological Survey

Left: Scott Swinden presents Valerie Jackson with her Mentorship Medal at GAC-MAC 2016. Photo credit: James Conliffe (GAC).

Citation read by Scott Swinden.

Acceptance by Valerie Jackson

2015 Recipient

Professor John Thompson, Cornell University


Left: CFES President Scott Swinden (right) presenting Professor John Thompson with National Earth Science Mentorship Medal at GAC President's Reception during the Joint Assembly in Montreal on May 4, 2015. Photo by Vivien Cummings. 

Citation read by Scott Swinden.

Acceptance by John Thompson.

2014 Recipient
Fred Longstaffe, Western University


Citation and acceptance by Fred Longstaffe.


Left: Dr. Fred. J. Longstaffe (left) receives the CFES mentorship medal from CFES President Scott Swinden at the Geological Association of Canada Presidents' Reception in Fredericton, May 20, 2014.

 2013 Recipient

Andrew Hynes, McGill University


Citation read by Brendan Murphy.

Acceptance by Andrew Hynes.


Left: Mentorship Medal Committee Chair Shoufa Lin (left)  and Andrew Hynes. 

 2012 Recipient

Otto van Breemen, Geological Survey of Canada. 


Citation read by Mike Villeneuve. 

Acceptance by Otto van Breemen.


Left: Otto van Breemen (left) and Mentorship Medal Committee Chair Shoufa Lin. 

2011Douw Steyn, University of British Columbia

2010 : Bob Hodder, University of Western Ontario

2009Paul Williams, University of New Brunswick 


On the occasion of awarding the inaugural CFES Mentorship Medal to Paul Williams, a symposium celebrating his contribution to the Geosciences was held at the annual GAC-MAC Convention in Toronto. This symposium resulted in a special issue of the International Journal of Structural Geology. The foreword to this issue can be found here.

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