Faculty Receive Mellon Mentoring Awards

Twenty-eight Trojans were recognized for promoting the culture of mentoring at the fifth annual USC Mellon Mentoring Awards ceremony held on April 23 at the USC University Club.

In its fifth year, the Mellon Mentoring Awards honor faculty members who help to build a supportive academic environment at USC by fostering faculty-to-student and faculty-to faculty mentoring. This year, 116 nominations were received.

The event was attended by USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett, USC vice president for student affairs Michael L. Jackson, USC vice provost for faculty affairs Marty Levine and USC professor Bruce Zuckerman. Beth Meyerowitz, vice provost for faculty and programmatic development, organized the event.

“As USC’s mentoring culture matures, we are progressing from an emphasis on a formalized model to an informal one, where mentoring is as much a component of a faculty member’s portfolio as are teaching and research,” Garrett said. “We see mentoring as the investment of senior faculty in junior faculty members, Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows and undergraduates. The use of the word ‘investment’ is purposeful – it implies joint commitment and affirms that mentoring is an activity that pays dividends to all involved.”


From left, Muhl; Jody Agius Vallejo, assistant professor of sociology in USC Dornsife; and Pinkston. Photo by Steve Cohn.

The Ph.D. program in Health Behavior Research in the Division of Health Behavior Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC received the Culture of Mentoring Award, which recognizes a program or faculty development strategy in an academic unit that provides a vital resource for faculty growth and success.

The accolade was accepted by Keck School faculty members Mary Ann Pentz, Louise Rohrbach and Jennifer Unger.

Awards for faculty mentoring undergraduate students went to:

  • Jody Agius Vallejo, assistant professor of sociology, USC Dornsife
  • Marjorie Becker, associate professor of history, USC Dornsife
  • Sean Curran, USC Davis School of Gerontology
  • Jennifer Floto, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Larry Redekopp, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
  • Adlai Wertman, USC Marshall School of Business

Awards for faculty mentoring graduate students went to:

  • William Deverell, professor of history and director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, USC Dornsife
  • Susan Enguidanos, USC Davis
  • Midori Goto, USC Thornton School of Music
  • Deborah Johnson, Keck School
  • Elsi Kaiser, associate professor of linguistics, USC Dornsife
  • Juliet Ann Musso, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
  • Roumyana Pancheva, associate professor of linguistics and Slavic languages and literatures, USC Dornsife
  • K. R. Subramanyam, USC Marshall
  • Gaurav Sukhatme, USC Viterbi
  • Dorian Traube, USC School of Social Work

Awards for faculty mentoring postdoctoral scholars went to:

  • Pat Levitt, Keck School
  • Peter Mancall, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, professor of history and anthropology and director of the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, USC Dornsife
  • G. K. Surya Prakash, George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry, professor of chemistry and director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, USC Dornsife

Awards for faculty mentoring faculty went to:

  • Scott Altman, USC Gould School of Law
  • Dana Goldman, USC Price
  • Amy Lee, Keck School
  • Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies, USC Dornsife
  • Jean Richardson, Keck School
  • Fengzhu Sun, professor of biological sciences, USC Dornsife