Mentoring Award

The Award for 2017

vonnie shields and diana Cheng
Associate Dean Vonnie Shields and Dr. Diana Cheng

Our awardee has been at Towson University since 2011 and is ideally suited to be this year’s recipient of the Mentoring Award. When you think of qualities that an excellent mentor should possess, you may think of a willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise to both faculty and students, demonstrate a positive attitude, motivate faculty and students by serving as a good role model, provide guidance and constructive feedback, and be respected by colleagues and employees at all levels in the University. This year, our awardee possesses and has demonstrated all of these qualities and MORE!

Over the past several years, our recipient has mentored several Towson UTeach students in undergraduate research.  Her initiative and desire to broaden our students’ undergraduate research experiences, resulted in the UTeach program becoming more involved with undergraduate research. As one junior faculty member said, “having this awardee as a mentor to help me to navigate the transition from doctoral student to faculty member, has made all the difference during my first few months at Towson University.” “Our awardee understands the requirements that junior faculty must meet and she answers questions that I would not even know to ask.” Another nominating letter went on to say that “this faculty member has gone out of her way to help me prepare for one of my courses and our awardee put me in contact with an administrator[at an elementary school, where I was able to secure a placement.” She continued by saying that “our recipient is dedicated in supporting undergraduate research and has provided me with the opportunity to become involved in undergraduate research, myself.” Another nominator, a teacher from Digital Harbor High School who collaborated with our awardee on an independent study, indicated that “our recipient has been a great mentor and friend who has been helpful during my time as a student”. Still another nominator indicated that our recipient was “constantly there for her mentees and [was] always willing to help guide them to take the courses that they needed, as well as to be a role model for women in STEM.” She went on to say that “our awardee has helped me to grow as a student and as a prospective teacher.”  Lastly, a major, expressed that “our awardee took me to conferences where I [could] learn from, and talk to, professionals in my field.” “Our awardee is a wonderful mentor who has taken me under her wings and has done the same for other students as well.” “I doubt if anybody else is more deserving of this award.”

Join me in offering congratulations to Dr. Diana Cheng from the Department of Mathematics.

(As presented by Associate Dean Vonnie Shields at the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Forum on December 8, 2017.)