The University of Southern California recently recognized two USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty members for their work as mentors and teachers.
University Professor Eileen Crimmins, who holds the AARP Chair in Gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School, received one of this year’s USC Mentoring Awards in the category for faculty mentoring faculty, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and fellows.
The USC Mentoring Awards honor faculty who contribute to an engaging, supportive, inclusive academic environment through their mentorship, per the award website. Crimmins, a renowned expert in the demography of aging and a USC faculty member since 1982, has mentored dozens of students and researchers, many of whom have gone on to obtain faculty positions and become leaders in the gerontology field themselves. Since 2005, she has also been the principal investigator of USC’s Multidisciplinary Research Training in Gerontology Program, one of the nation’s longest-running T32 training grants for pre- and postdoctoral researchers.
“This award is very meaningful because it not only recognizes my work but the work of the wonderful scholars I have had the privilege to be associated with over the years,” Crimmins said.
Instructional Assistant Professor of Gerontology Min-Kyoung Rhee received a General Education Teaching Award from the General Education Program of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
The awards recognize faculty contributions to the General Education Program during the preceding academic year. Rhee, who teaches three GESM courses, said she aims to help students to build a base of knowledge on various topics, such as prosperity, personality development, and the mind-body connection, and explore them across the lifespan. Students are also asked to choose a topic of their personal interest that will improve themselves and work on it throughout the semester, she added.
“Students’ topics are diverse, including tackling procrastination, restarting a hobby, managing stress and anxiety through meditation or exercise, and overcoming shyness by initiating a conversation with a new person,” Rhee said. “It’s always a great joy and inspiration to witness how students challenge and overcome their limitations using curiosity and creativity. I hope that these small positive experiences of success can help them ease into their college life at USC.”