USC Rossier School of Education
I am enormously grateful for the opportunities I’ve had since coming to USC to work with and learn from graduate students. It is an honor to spend time with these extraordinary people who bring so much to the learning exchange, including their incredible life experiences, their passion for improving education in order to make the world a more just and equitable place, their creativity and intelligence, and their willingness to work so hard.
Given how much these students already possess when they walk through the university’s door, I believe mentoring them is mostly about leading them from behind, rather than from out in front. This involves listening deeply to students and supporting them to recognize the value of their own experiences, talents, and ideas. It also involves helping them to tap into these resources as they engage in scholarly and practical work, and to see how much richer and more relevant their contributions are when they hold onto themselves and their core values and commitments.
I view this award as a reflection of my students’ generosity; in fact, they deserve an award for how much they have given me! I would also like to take this opportunity to honor the many, very attentive and special mentors whom I have had in my own life and career. The many joys and successes I’ve experienced are in many ways a result of their valuable mentorship.