April 17, 2015

Professors Doe Mayer and John Watson Honored by USC

Professor Doe Mayer

Professors Doe Mayer and John Watson Honored by USC The Mellon Mentoring Awards, given annually at the University of Southern California, honors faculty members who have shown exceptional commitment to mentorship. The distinguished professors who receive it have helped to create a culture of academic and professional support throughout the University, whether that is offering one-on-one guidance to students or to other faculty. This year, two such professors from the School of Cinematic Arts were recognized for their dedication to mentorship: Mary Pickford Endowed Chair Doe Mayer and Broccoli Endowed Chair for Producing, John Watson.

Professor Doe Mayer, who represents both SCA and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, received recognition for “Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students,” while Professor John Watson received the “Culture of Mentoring Award”, which honors individuals who’ve created prominent mentorship programs. “Mentoring has never felt like an obligation,” said Professor Mayer. “I always feel that I get so much out of it myself – stimulation, challenge, a surprising journey, a connection to the students’ energy, enthusiasm and hopes for the future. Then occasionally, at moments like this one, there’s the gratifying revelation that I have had a positive influence on some of their lives. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had more than an ephemeral association with so many students and former students. ”

She attributes some of her dedication to her own extraordinary, positive experiences with her own mentors throughout the years. “I had a teacher who subsequently became a wonderfully generous life mentor for me, and when former students stay in touch over the years, I not only have the pleasure of seeing them find their way in the world, but I hope I have respected my mentor’s memory, her wisdom, and the warm encouragement she gave me.”

Professor John Watson

Professor Mayer’s commitment to student growth is shared by Professor Watson. "I believe that a mentoring program is the clearest message the faculty can send to our students that we care about their welfare, both during their time at SCA and in their future careers,” said Professor Watson, on receiving his award. “The journey through the SCA graduate production program is challenging, as our students struggle to assess priorities and plan for their futures. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the students that I personally mentor and it is also gratifying to hear about successful mentor relationships both with faculty and industry mentors. It is a bonus, and especially rewarding, to have my efforts recognized through the Mellon Mentoring Award.”

He added that this honor would not have been possible without the help of his colleagues, which is another indication of the deep-rooted culture of support and growth available at the University. “I gratefully acknowledge that I am only receiving this award because of the generous mentoring provided by my faculty colleagues, who have made the program I started work, and who have kindly recommended me for this honor."