William Deverell

Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography
Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography

USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

I don’t have any particular insights into mentoring beyond some fairly obvious perspectives.  My approach is largely dictated by a firm belief that graduate mentoring must be accompanied by continued awareness of what one’s own graduate school experience felt like. 

Knowing what graduate school was like – the ups and downs, the intellectual thrills and the many moments of “am I cut out for this?” – sustains empathy.  And empathy is often a very important foundation upon which to build teaching and mentoring.  I judge my mentoring on simple metrics: did I challenge my students to do their best work?  Was I responsive?  And did I remind them, perhaps more than once, that they are capable of excellence?