A long-time Member of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality has anonymously and generously endowed a substantial fund in honor of their great mentor, Lester A. Kirkendall. This award is designed to highlight individuals who, in the tradition of Dr. Kirkendall, are outstanding mentors. One individual per year will be recognized as the recipient for providing exceptional mentorship to students.  

What is a mentor? A mentor provides knowledge, assistance, encouragement, empathy and respect to a mentee. They often create a supportive environment that fosters networking/collaboration that develop a mentee’s long-term career goals.

What is a mentee? A mentee benefits from the mentor’s support, skills, and wisdom while pursuing the mentee’s own career goals.

Benefits of the Mentor/Mentee Relationship: Both sides benefit from the mentor/mentee relationship. Individuals who have mentoring relationships are more productive, more involved in their field, and more satisfied with the work that they are doing. Individuals who mentor can acquire a fresh perspective in sexuality studies or gain a reputation for identifying and developing top-notch talent. These benefits are passed on as good mentors promote a tradition of mentoring practices in their mentees.

Nominating Individuals: The Student Involvement Co-Chairs on The Society’s Board of Directors welcomes nomination materials for the Lester A. Kirkendall Outstanding Mentor Award.

Deadline: June 1, 2020

Winner Notified: August 1, 2020

Send Nomination Materials to: thesociety@sexscience.org

Mentor Eligibility:

  • Individual must have served in a mentorship role providing guidance to students/developing professionals in the field of sexuality.
  • Mentor relationship must exceed 1+ year(s) and may include a current or past Mentorship.
  • The Mentor does not need to be a SSSS Member.

Mentee Eligibility:

  • Individual must be a current SSSS Student Member.
  • Potential awardees must be nominated by a mentee who receives/has received direct Mentorship.
  • Each mentee can only nominate one mentor in a given year.

Nomination Process:

  • Nomination letters must be submitted by one individual.
  • More than one unique letter can be submitted about the same mentor, as long as those as such letters are from different mentees. However, the number of mentees that submit letters about a given mentor will not be a criteria of judgement in the award selection process.
  • Nomination letters should be no more than 1,000 words in length.
  • If for any reason a written letter cannot be submitted, the committee will accept an audio file no more than 5 minutes in length.
  • Nomination letter(s) should include:
    • Nature of mentor/mentee (e.g. advisor, internship coordinator, employer).
    • Duration of mentor/mentee relationship.
    • Qualities that the mentor possesses that make/made the individual a good mentor, and how their mentor exhibits these qualities.
    • Examples that set their mentor apart from other mentors, especially qualities that go beyond any requirements of the mentor’s job.
    • Nominations will be reviewed by the Student Involvement Co-chairs and the yearly winner will be announced at the 2020 Annual Meeting.
  • Send your Mentor Award Nomination Form & Nomination Letter(s) to thesociety@sexscience.org.


  • Lester A. Kirkendall Outstanding Mentor Award plaque.
  • Complimentary registration to attend the 2020 SSSS Annual Meeting.
  • $500 reimbursement to assist with travel to the SSSS Annual Meeting.
  • One complimentary room night at the host hotel.

Please use email to address any questions & to send nomination materials. Please send to: thesociety@sexscience.org.


Lester A. Kirkendall Outstanding Mentor Award Recipients

2018 Karen Beale, Ph.D.
2019 Robin Milhausen, Ph.D.