CSUN mentors honored at awards ceremony

Mayra Escobedo

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) honored four CSUN faculty and staff members with the 2012 Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards Tuesday.

The event, held in Sierra Hall’s Whitsett Room, honored Bradley McAuliff, psychology professor, Bridget Sampson, communication studies professor, Dr.  Reid Chassiakos, director of Klotz Student Health Center, and Christopher Aston, assistant director of Student Development for their outstanding contributions in mentoring students.

The awards ceremony began with Glenn Omatsu, Asian American studies professor and FMP coordinator, reading the names of the 28 nominees not receiving an award, as well as a few words that spoke of ways that they had touched, helped and encouraged those that nominated them.

“It was very hard because we already know that there are so many great mentors on campus,” Omatsu said about selecting the winners of the awards.

Before each honoree received their award, the people that nominated them said a few words about why they nominated them, the effect that their mentoring had on them and all read comments made by students, faculty and staff of how the impact that their mentoring had on them.

“Hearing what students had to say I felt so touched,” said Sampson after the event. “The fact that students seem to feel that I help them believe in themselves means everything to me.”

Joshua Lapin, doctoral student and CSUN alumnus, described the type of mentor that McAuliff is and the reasons why he nominated him for the award.

Lapin described McAuliff as someone that is very passionate that cares about his students and knows that graduate students are underserviced but puts his students in the best possible position to achieve their goals.

“A lot of students seek a mentor but Brad seeks out students,” said Lapin. “He always brings himself to the level of the students. I would never be here if it wasn’t for (him).”

As each honoree received their award they spoke of what it meant to be a mentor with most thanking their own mentors and saying that if it was not for great mentors they would not be where they are today.

“I always associate myself as having mentors not being one,” said Aston after the event. “It was a humbling and wonderful moment to know that I am now considered someone like them.”