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USU Faculty Recognized as Mentors

Thursday, Feb. 01, 2018

David Law, Jennifer Grewe, Derrick Tollefson, Don Busenbark and Crescenio Lopez Gonzales

USU faculty presenters included (upper) David Law and Jennifer Grewe and (lower) Derrick Tollefson, Don Busenbark and Crescenio Lopez Gonzales.

Shelly Kotynek, with Claudia Radel, Eric Olsen and Chris Luecke

Student Success Advisor of the Year, Shelly Kotynek, with Claudia Radel, Eric Olsen and Chris Luecke.

Kerry Rood, with Brian Warnick and Eric Olsen

Student Success Teacher of the Year, Kerry Rood, with Brian Warnick and Eric Olsen.

Approximately 40 Utah State University faculty attended a panel held to discuss their experiences as mentors to students.

The panel included Don Busenbark, lecturer, USU-UB/math; Jennifer Grewe, lecturer, psychology; David Law, professor, USU-UB/FCHD; Crescencio Lopez Gonzales, assistant professor, languages, philosophy and communication studies; and Derrik Tollefson, professor and department head, sociology, social work and anthropology.

A variety of issues were discussed during the panel. USU faculty from the Uintah Basin have worked to create a Faculty Mentor Guide designed to assist faculty in putting into practice mentoring concepts and behaviors. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is using data analytics to identify students who are at risk. They are then reaching out to those students to have meaningful, and at times difficult, conversations to assist the students in finding a successful path at USU. Lopez Gonzales spoke of his work in mentoring LatinX students while Grewe discussed her strategies for mentoring students in large classes. The discussion focused on helping students to rise to the expectations and rigor of USU and helping them find success while at USU.

Additionally, two awards were announced at the event. The Student Success Advisor of the Year was awarded to Shelly Kotynek from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources and the Student Success Teacher of the Year was presented to Kerry Rood from the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. Both recipients will each receive a $500 award in recognition of their commitment to and work towards helping students be successful at USU.

This event represents a partnership between Empowering Teaching Excellence series and the Office of Student Retention & Completion. The event was recorded and will be available at under the resources for Faculty and Staff tab.

Contact: Heidi Kesler, 435-797-8087,

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