Highlighting helpers

Now is the time to show appreciation for the individual who has been guiding your academic career at Sam Houston State University. Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Student Advising and Mentoring Center will recognize two individuals, one student and one faculty member, as the winners of a $1,000 prize for a developing mentoring relationship.

In order to nominate a mentor or protg, a one-page essay must be submitted about the positive changes that occurred during the mentor relationship. Both parties do not have to be nominated in order for one to win. SAM Center faculty advisors are not eligible for nomination.

All nominations are due Thursday, April 15, by 5 p.m. to the SAM Center as a printed copy or via e-mail.

“I think it really speaks to the importance of the mentoring services,” SAM Center staff associate Candi Harris said. “There are a lot more mentoring relationships out there that people don’t realize are mentoring relationships.”

The best part of being a mentor is “having a chance to help students. It’s the focus of the job and what we enjoy,” assistant director of academic support programs Janet Fair said.

Fair describes the characteristics of a good mentor as being a good listener, having knowledge of information on campus which will help the student and being empathetic toward students.

Winners of the Mentoring Award will be announced the week of April 26.

“I think we are going to look at how each person has been changed by the mentor relationship. Those which show a significant change will be in the top duration of this reward,” Harris said.

A reception will be held for all participants on April 29 at 3 p.m. in the SAM Center and will be open to all SHSU faculty and students. The reception will include refreshments, a short reading of the winning essays, a ceremony honoring the winners with a special certificate and a short speech by University President James Gaertner.

“I think, as somebody who mentors, the reward comes when you see the student you mentor succeeding,” Harris said. “It can encourage more students, faculty and staff to become more involved.”

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