This year’s Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Award was given to CSUN physics and astronomy professor Duane Doty because of the positive impact he has had on students during his 40-year career at CSUN.
A humbled Doty was surprised upon receiving the award. Doty relates to students by applying what he teaches to real-life situations. For example, when lecturing about battery charges, he tells his students to take foil and put it where they might have a filling so they can then feel an electricity charge.
“I thought they made a mistake when I got the phone call telling me I’ve just been awarded,” Doty said. “There are so many other professors that should have received the award.”
Doty has gone on to see his students grow professionally, he said.
Doty was able to mentor his students by wearing different hats, he said. Sometimes he would wear his teacher hat, but if the student wanted to talk to him about personal issues, he would transition from being a teacher to their friend.
In addition, not only does the student learn from the professor, but the professor also learns from the student, Doty said. It is a good thing to be on the same level as students and make a connection with them.
The Faculty Mentor Program and the Educational Opportunity Program established the Dorsey Mentoring Award in 1998.
The award honors faculty, staff and administrators who have made efforts in mentoring students in school and in their personal growth.
Doty had the pleasure of meeting Dorsey before his retirement. After eight years of being a professor at CSUN, Doty was in need of personal help himself and Dorsey advised him, Doty said.
Last year, Asian Studies associate professor Gina Masequesmay and Frankline Augustin, a director in science and math advisement, received the award.
This award was created in honor of Dorsey, who was the first to receive the recognition, and thus the award was named after him. For more than two decades, he dedicated himself to mentoring others at CSUN.
The Faculty Mentor Program was started to increase academic performance and promote diversity.
“It’s a nice group to be in,” said Doty, commenting on joining those who have received the award.
Next year, Doty will join the Faculty Mentoring Program committee and help with nominations.