Julie Cederbaum

USC School of Social Work
Julie Cederbaum
Photo by Steve Cohn Photography

The mentoring I have provided over these past 6 years at USC is a great source of pride for me. Graduate school is a time where we are forming and informing our identities, building networks of colleagues and friends, and engaging in the generation and transmission of the theories, ideas, and practice. For me, mentoring is a critical aspect of the work that we do as faculty members. Beyond learning skills in the classroom and in the field, mentors create an environment where students can feel safe to express themselves, test new ideas without judgment, and find their individuality and voice. Furthermore, mentors create a space for students to share and celebrate successes, be supported through processing failures, and challenged to find work/life balance. Mentors share in these experiences and the impact of the relationship is bi-directional and creates a support system that uplifts burgeoning scholars. It is an honor to have had the opportunity to enhance the learning of master’s and doctoral level students and to have engaged with so many outstanding individuals. While this award has been given to me, in reality, the most valuable element of mentoring has been the opportunities I have been afforded through my relationships with students.