I asked my science research mentor to write me a rec for one of the optional recs. My mentor was awarded a prestigious science award/grant/title in a recent year. Since Dartmouth is a small/medium-ish sized school, do you think the admissions readers would take the time to look up my mentor’s name? If so, would getting a rec from someone with this impressive award/grant help me more than a rec from a “normal” (for lack of a better word lol) scientist?
I think the “prestige” of the recommender matters less than what they are able to say about you. To that end, if you have a close, strong relationship with your mentor, it shouldn’t matter what comes up with a Google search. That being said, you’re not choosing between a “prestigious” scientists and a normal scientist; as I understand it, you’re just deciding whether or not to include the recommendation, right? In that case, I think you should consider whether what your mentor might be able to showcase about you, your personality, and your achievements that may not be reflected in the rest of the application. If you believe that the LoR would prove a significant addition in that vein, then send the rec.
good points, thank you! @dartagnaneb