USC Gould School of Law
One of the best parts of being a teacher, in my view, is the opportunity to mentor students. Why do I find mentoring such a worthy endeavor? Well, selfishly, for the sheer joy I experience when facilitating individual students’ transformations—as they courageously recognize and realize their own unique, divine potential. Moreover, admittedly, I mentor because I have an agenda—to ensure that USC graduates students who are a real benefit to society. Specifically, I want for our law students to develop a life-long practice of using their degree to “do good”, and to do it with excellence. To consistently seek justice on behalf of those who have none, and in so doing, make the world a better place. Further, I mentor because I can think of no better way to express the enormous appreciation I feel for those who have mentored me—making possible where I find myself today as a professor at a premier university. Finally, importantly, I mentor because of love. The depth of relationship built with students through the mentoring process is unparalleled. I remind my students and they remind me that we are not alone. Rather, we are together in a community—interconnected and holding each other up as we seek to become the best that we can be. This year, my students have so reminded me of such through this Mellon Award nomination, and I am truly grateful.