MESA Mentoring Award

Carter V. Findley

Ohio State University

2021 Recipient

Carter V. Findley is recognized for his extraordinary contributions to the training and support of others in Middle East studies.

During his 44-year career at Ohio State University, Dr. Findley produced an extensive body of scholarship that established his reputation as a leading authority of Ottoman and Turkish history. During that time, he also helped expand the university’s course offerings in Islamic history and World History and was actively engaged in fund-raising in support of Ottoman and Turkish Studies at Ohio State University, including fellowships that support graduate students. Drawn by Dr. Findley’s scholarship and advocacy of Ottoman and Turkish studies at Ohio State University, graduate students from across Turkey and the United States sought his mentorship as they embarked on their doctoral studies. His students have launched successful careers in and outside of academia. Many of Dr. Findley’s former students contribute to Middle East Studies as professors and fellows across Turkey and the United States and recall his careful mentorship, noting Dr. Findley’s tireless efforts to help them secure opportunities for funding and for positions.

One former student highlighted Dr. Findley’s continued mentorship and enthusiasm for her scholarship post-graduation, highlighting his “intellectual generosity,” “unconditional support,” and meticulous reading of her dissertation.

Another noted that his mentorship helped her “develop into a much more responsible and conscientious scholar” than she “probably would have become otherwise.”

A third noted that it was his “sincere belief in my potential as a scholar” as a prospective doctoral student that brough him to study with Dr. Findley: “Enrolling at Ohio State University as a first-generation student of color from a low-income immigrant family, it was important for me to find a mentor who sincerely believed in my potential and would be invested in my long-term success. Like all excellent mentors, Dr. Findley helped me identify my strengths when all I could see were my weaknesses. Dr. Findley believed in my potential so much that he provided me with the space to develop my own identity as a scholar and to pursue my own research interests in Middle East environmental history, even though these interests did not align perfectly with his area of expertise.”

Finally a fourth summarized Dr. Findley’s ability to support and to bring out the very best in his students: “He consistently pushed me to create the best work I could produce while also teaching me the importance of being diligent and rigorous in my writing. As a graduate student, Prof. Findley was always there for me when I needed him, whether it was to read and give feedback on something I wrote or to write a letter of recommendation. From the first time I met him, he continued to believe in me, even at points when I had doubts about myself.”

It is an honor to recognize Carter V. Findley — a scholar of Ottoman and Turkish history as well as an outstanding mentor.

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