USC Mentoring Awards


The USC Mentoring Awards honor faculty who contribute to an engaging, supportive, inclusive academic environment through their mentorship of students and faculty. Distinguished mentoring for academic and professional success occurs through formal and informal channels and may vary in style and substance from discipline to discipline. The review committee, comprised of previous winners, will be looking for evidence of most or all of the following with either undergraduate students, graduate students, or faculty.


  • Faculty Mentoring Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, Medical Residents, and Fellows
  • Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students
  • Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students


  1. Goal Setting: Exploring mentees’ talents and interests to assist them in defining and attaining their goals.
  2. Support: Encouraging growth and achievement by providing a supportive environment where challenges, successes, and failures can be openly shared and examined.
  3. Information and Advice: Carving out regular time to share knowledge, experiences, and wisdom to guide mentees in reaching their academic, professional, and/or personal goals.
  4. Feedback: Making themselves available to provide regular and constructive feedback on mentees’ work, when requested.
  5. Professional Exposure: Involving mentees in publications, grants, presentations, expositions, or professional/leadership opportunities, and readily sharing knowledge of other such opportunities with mentees.
  6. Networking: Providing valuable access and opportunities by facilitating academic, professional, and personal contacts.
  7. Inclusion: Creating access by sharing knowledge of the political landscape and power dynamics in the discipline, and effective strategies for navigating those structures. Working with mentees from underrepresented, first-generation, or marginalized groups within the discipline is a priority, with attention paid to developing skills and support networks for overcoming institutional barriers they may face in the field.
  8. Role Modeling: Maintaining high standards for excellence within their own discipline and as an engaged member of the University community. Engaging in respectful relationships with colleagues, junior colleagues, and students. Acknowledging power differentials in professional relationships and behaving with integrity, in line with USC’s Code of Ethics. Encouraging mentees to adopt similar principles of professional behavior.


All faculty members—part-time and full-time—currently employed by USC are eligible for nomination. A nominee may not win within the same 5-year period.


Submit a complete nomination form and maximum of TWO letters supporting the nomination in addition to the letter from the primary nominator. Letters can be solicited from past or present mentees of the nominee, the nominee’s department chair, the nominee’s dean, or other appropriate individuals. Letters should directly address criteria for the award, and should not exceed two pages each.

Letters of support can be submitted at the same time as the nomination form or separately here.

For those faculty with multiple nomination, the committee will review the first nomination submitted.

All nomination forms and letters of support must be submitted electronically by January 24, 2020.

Paper nominations will not be accepted and nominations cannot be supplemented after the deadline.


Nominations submitted by January 24, 2020.

Selection announced by March 2020.

Awards Ceremony: April 2, 2020.

The nomination deadline is January 24, 2020. Nominations and supplementary materials cannot be accepted after the deadline. Nominations are for a single year’s cycle only.

If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Nagamine at

Last updated October 2019