USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
I am deeply honored to be the recipient of a Mellon Mentoring Award. I am glad to be at a university that recognizes the value of this type of personal interaction between students and faculty.
I believe that mentoring is a collaborative endeavor and because of this, this award also goes to the students who participated in the process. My mentoring was beneficial because the students were willing to participate in the process. Indeed, I view mentoring as an ongoing interactive collaboration between each individual student and me. My primary goal as a mentor is to develop a relationship with each student who is interested in receiving advice about professional or personal decisions that need to be made. In this scenario, mentoring becomes a personal relationship with each student and it is not only about giving advice; it is also about being a good listener. Over the years, my students have taught me to sit down and listen carefully and in this sense they have contributed significantly to my professional development. In my view, mentoring should also focus on providing students with the necessary skills to succeed professionally. In line with this goal, I encourage my students to partake of the many research, volunteer and professional opportunities available at USC so that when they leave our campus they are better equipped to become future leaders and succeed in their respective fields. Given my interest in science and technology, my mentoring has often included providing hands-on research experience in my lab and fostering the development of scientific thinking along with deductive and interpretive skills. Students have found that the skills learnt in the lab setting have opened doors for them as they pursue graduate careers in the health sciences. It is always a pleasure to receive emails or letters from mentees letting me know of their professional and personal successes. Their professional successes fuel my passion for committing the necessary time and energy to these activities.