University of Southern California USC

USC Mellon Mentoring Awards


The USC Mellon Mentoring Awards honor individual faculty for helping build a supportive academic environment at USC through faculty-to-student and faculty-to-faculty mentoring.

In addition, the USC Mellon Culture of Mentoring Award recognizes a mentoring program or faculty development strategy in an academic unit that provides a vital resource for faculty growth and success.
Award Categories

  • Award for Undergraduate Mentoring By Faculty
  • Award for Postdoctoral Trainee Mentoring by Faculty
  • Award for Graduate Mentoring By Faculty
  • Award for Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring
  • Culture of Mentoring Award

Criteria for Awards

Great mentoring for academic success occurs at USC through both informal and formal means, and may vary considerably from discipline to discipline. Thus, the main criterion for all four awards is the demonstration of a continued commitment to mentoring, and effectiveness in mentoring.

Individual Faculty Awards will be given to faculty members who consistently do one or more of the following:

  1. Offer sound counsel and valuable information to their mentees in order to advance and develop the mentee’s own path to academic and professional success.
  2. Generously share their valuable time and expertise in critiquing the mentee’s work.
  3. Help to create a vital and engaged academic community in their school and at USC.
  4. Involve peers and students in publications, grants and conferences, as well as readily sharing knowledge of such opportunities.
  5. Make others aware of the contributions and value of their mentees.
  6. Serve as role models for their colleagues by maintaining high standards for excellence within their own discipline and at the level of the larger University.

Nominations for the Culture of Mentoring Award should be for a program that has demonstrated exceptional effectiveness in developing programs for mentoring faculty, and that has been successful at creating a sustainable culture of mentoring within a particular academic unit.

Eligibility for Nominations

Any full or part-time faculty member currently employed by USC is eligible for nomination for the four individual faculty mentoring awards.

A nominee may not win in the same category two years in a row, but is eligible to win in a different category in a subsequent year.

Any formal program in a Department, School, Institute, or other academic unit that is responsible for some aspect of mentoring faculty within that academic unit is eligible for the USC Mellon Culture of Mentoring Award.

Nomination Procedures

There will be an open call for nominations via the Daily Trojan, electronic listservs and flyer announcements.

The nomination process is simple. The first step towards nominating an individual is to submit the required information and statement of support at the following link:

Nomination Form

To complete the nomination package, the nominator must additionally solicit a minimum of two additional letters of support for their nominee from two additional mentees, the nominee’s department chair, or the nominee’s dean. These letters should be no longer than two pages each and submitted electronically via by the January 31 deadline.


  • Initial Nominations via this site: by January 31, 2014
  • Selection Announced: by March 31, 2014
  • Awards Ceremony: April 24, 2014