May 29, 2007
Marsteller honored as mentor
by kim urquhart
Pat Marsteller often advises her students and colleagues to “find a mentor and be a mentor.” Marsteller’s embodiment of this belief in her work as director of the Emory College Center for Science Education, director of the Hughes Undergraduate Science Initiative and senior lecturer in biology earned her the 2007 George P. Cuttino Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
“Everybody at all levels need mentors,” she said. “Mentors are a combination of advisers, role models and eventually, we hope, friends.” A relationship with a mentor may “start out as somebody who knows more than you about a pathway to success,” Marsteller said, “but eventually, in addition to showing you what success looks like, encouraging you along the way and giving you constructive criticism and advice, they hopefully will become your life-long friends and supporters.”
Marsteller has mentored generations of students and faculty at Emory. In fact, she was joined on the Commencement stage by her mentee, chemistry lecturer Daphne Norton, who received the 2007 Center for Teaching & Curriculum for Excellence in Teaching award.
As a faculty mentor, Marsteller draws on her extensive experience as a teacher, grant writer and the resources and connections gleaned from her many years at Emory. As a teacher, Marsteller encourages her students to “grow and develop and find new things.”
She also has inspired women and minorities to stay in the science pipeline through innovative science education programs such as PRISM (Problems and Research to Integrate Science and Mathematics) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience at Emory.
Marsteller recognized how mentors have shaped her own career. “I’ve had such wonderful people to help me in my growth and development,” she said. “Without their support I couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much as I have.”
Marsteller said she was honored to receive the Cuttino award, established in 1997 by John T. Glover ’68C. “It means so much because it is a nomination that comes from undergraduate students, graduate students and fellow professors,” she said. “And, because mentoring is what I really care about, it’s the best honor I could possibly get.”