Awards to recognize four faculty mentors

Priscilla D. Tasker

Walter Horton Jr., associate director of the School of Biomedical Sciences, is one of four Kent State faculty members who will be presented with the Graduate Student Senate Faculty Mentorship Excellence Award tonight.

The honored faculty will be awarded at the GSS Annual Colloquium Awards Banquet, which usually honors students for their successes.

The mentorship award is presented to outstanding faculty members who nurture the professional and academic goals of their students.

The other nominees are John Gunstad, assistant professor in the department of psychology; Joseph Ortiz, associate professor in the department of geology; and Almut Schroeder, associate professor in the department of physics.

Nominations are submitted by students or faculty, and must include a student testimonial to be considered. The awards committee only received four nominations this year, and plan to honor each of them.

“You can’t just say that one mentor is better than another,” said Bill Franko, chair of the GSS awards committee.

The student testimonials had the same underlying themes, Franko said. Students wrote that the professors were enthusiastic and encouraging, he said.

Another point Franko noticed in the testimonials was that the professors were helpful and supportive with different facets including research and writing. They were professors, as well as advisors, Franko said.

“Students looked up to them as role models,” Franko said.

The awards that mean the most are the ones that come from the students, Horton said.

“This is one of the highest honors,” he said.

Mentoring is a process where you keep giving back to the next generation, and the goal is to foster independence and instill confidence in the students, Horton said.

“We, probably, as mentors get more than we give,” Horton said.

Contact NEOUCOM and health trends reporter Priscilla Tasker at [email protected].