Provost's Award for Graduate Research/Creative Mentoring: Dennis Aig, Founders Day Faculty Awards, Academic Year 2022-23. Portrait of Dennis Aig.

Dennis Aig

Dennis Aig is the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Graduate Research and Creativity Mentoring, which recognizes a faculty member who exemplifies leadership in graduate education and shows a history of successful guidance of graduate students from their arrival at MSU through the launch of their professional careers. Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the award includes a $2,000 honorarium. 

Aig, a member of the faculty in the College of Arts and Architecture for more than 30 years, served as director of MSU’s Master of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from 2007 to 2022, with a break from 2013 to 2016 when he served as the director of the School of Film and Photography. He has been a member of more than 80 graduate committees, serving as chair of nearly 50, guiding graduate film students through the process of creating a feature documentary film thesis project. His students have worked with prestigious scientific entities from NASA and National Geographic to the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian, and their films have been featured at the Tribeca and Sundance film festivals. 

“Along with instruction that is consistently well-rated and sought after by students desirous of establishing readiness for the film industry, Professor Aig also utilizes his significant and far-reaching contacts in Hollywood and New York to place students for internships, special project supervision and post-graduation careers,” wrote Royce Smith, dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture, in a nomination letter. “Their continued success—and the regional, national and international impact that their work continues to have—is owed in no small measure to Professor Aig’s selfless and sophisticated mentorship.”