Mitchell and Lee receive mentoring award from Academy of Management

Terry Mitchell and Tom Lee at an Academy of Management award ceremony in 2010.

A scholar’s legacy is written in teaching and research. For some, it’s also multiplied by mentorship. This is certainly the case with Terence Mitchell and the late Thomas Lee, institutions at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Lee and Mitchell are co-recipients of this year’s Thomas A. Mahoney Mentoring Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management.

During their many decades at Foster, both mentored countless junior faculty and guided numerous doctoral students into careers of their own impact.

Mitchell, longtime faculty director of the Foster PhD Program, chaired 16 doctoral student committees during his tenure. Lee, who served as associate dean for academic and faculty affairs, chaired eight. “But that doesn’t account for the informal advising that Terry and Tom did during their tenure,” says Beau Kirkeby, assistant director of the PhD Program.

Those legions of students could not have found better mentors—and role models.

Lead by example

Terry Mitchell, an emeritus professor of management, has served the on Foster School faculty since 1969.

Mitchell’s nearly 150 published research papers and books have delivered groundbreaking insights on leadership, motivation, decision making and employee turnover. He has been ranked the #18 most influential scholar of all time in the field of industrial and organizational psychology, #23 most influential in organizational behavior and #35 most influential in general management. A 2020 study tagged him among the top 1 percent of the world’s most-cited researchers—across all scientific disciplines.

Terry Mitchell

Among a long list of honors, Mitchell has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AOM’s Organizational Behavior Division (2010) and the Scholarly Achievement Award from its Human Resources Division (2013). The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology presented him its Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1998).

Last year, Mitchell received the University of Washington’s Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award for his continuing research and extraordinary commitment to environmental causes.

All of these individual contributions to the academy and world beyond have been amplified by Mitchell’s work with doctoral students at Foster—including the mentor program he directed, the course he created on navigating “the Academic Life,” the requirement he established to present research to Foster faculty and the opportunities he presented to attend academic conferences.

Academic decathlete

Tom Lee, who joined the Foster School in 1983, was a scholar and leader of enormous impact at Foster and in the discipline of management until his death in 2021.

The former Hughes M. Blake Endowed Professor of Management authored a voluminous curriculum vitae of accomplishments and service.

Tom Lee

He was a highly rated teacher across Foster programs and the author of nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications that frequently fetched awards and ultimately earned Lee fellowships in the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Most influential were his research collaborations with Mitchell, which established several landmark theories on the factors that lead employees to voluntarily leave or stay in their jobs.

In addition to his decade-plus service as associate dean at Foster, Lee also served as editor of the Academy of Management Journal and president of the Academy of Management.

His body of work earned Lee a raft of honors, including the Herbert Heneman Jr. Award for Career Achievement from the Human Relations Division of the Academy of Management (2015) and the Academy’s Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Service (2016).

In a 2012 paper, Lee was held up as the quintessential “academic decathlete,” for his ability to excel at research, teaching, service, mentorship and leadership over the course of a career. A 2019 paper dubbed him an “inspiring exemplar” for aspiring scholars in any discipline.