Purdue University Faculty Member Wins National Faculty of the Year Award
Levon T. Esters, an associate professor of agricultural sciences education and communication, was awarded one of six national Faculty Mentor of the Year awards at the 26th annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in October in Atlanta, Georgia. The Institute is the nation’s largest annual gathering of underrepresented Ph.D. students and college faculty members of color.
Esters was nominated for the award by two of his mentees, Purdue University doctoral students Quintana “Quincy” Clark and Torrie A. Cropps. Clark, a participant in the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program, said Esters is committed to academic excellence. “It is through his approach to teaching that I am learning to become a more effective educator, researcher, and practitioner in my respective field.”
Cropps shared that sentiment. “Esters’s commitment to meaningful change in education and his research and work on the retention and persistence of women and underrepresented minority graduate students made him the best candidate for the award.”
Cropps is a participant in the SREB Doctoral Scholars Program, which provides financial support, leadership development and mentoring to help underrepresented minority scholars become faculty members. To address the nation’s continuing shortage of African-American, Hispanic and Native American faculty, SREB hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, a collaboration of programs across the country that support minority Ph.D. students.
The Institute on Teaching and Mentoring is the largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars in the country. Now in its 26th year, the Institute gives the issue of faculty diversity a national focus and provides minority scholars with the strategies necessary to survive the rigors of graduate school, earn the doctoral degree and succeed as members of the professorate.
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