Six Faculty Members Receive 2020 Mentoring Awards

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

For the sixth year, the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs (DCFA) accepted nominations for the College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty Mentoring Awards. The annual awards honor faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to mentorship, as well as recognize the importance of mentorship for the success of faculty.

“For junior faculty in academic medicine, mentorship is crucial. Finding someone who will support you, coach you through challenges, and help you build networks and find the right opportunities is essential,” says Alice Min, MD, assistant dean of Faculty Development. “The Faculty Mentoring Awards were established to recognize the selfless faculty who are committed to empowering their fellow colleagues.”

Mentees were asked to submit letters of nomination for their mentors indicating the types of mentoring that their mentor provided and how their mentor has contributed to their success. Nominations underwent rigorous review by the DCFA. Six awardees were ultimately selected.

The following are the recipients of the 2020 College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty Mentoring Awards:

Helen Amerongen, PhD

Title: Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Described as: A good leader who leads by example

What her nominators said: She is freely available to talk about anything, and also is good at email communication when she is away. Although I have served as a mentor to many other faculty members during my career, I would have done a much better job had I known Helen 30 years ago.



Mindy Fain, MD

Title: Professor, Department of Medicine

Described as: A role model

What her nominators said: Dr. Fain listened to what I loved to do, and then she helped tailor a position that would allow me to embrace my passions, while also prodding me to venture into other areas in which I had no prior experience. She has connected and guided, challenged and encouraged, and grounded and elevated a multitude of professionals.



C. Kent Kwoh, MD

Title: Professor, Department of Medicine

Described as: Hardworking and dedicated

What his nominators said: He has a long history of mentoring medical students, residents, post-doctoral fellows and faculty from diverse backgrounds. As a testament to his mentorship, his mentees have gone on to achieve many great successes of their own.



Lawrence Mandarino, PhD

Title: Professor, Department of Medicine

Described as: Approachable and collaborative

What his nominators said: When we hear that “one person can make a difference” — Larry is one of them. He does not like to be praised, but he makes our lives different all the same. We can’t help but adopt his positive attitude toward people, his highest ethical standards of doing science and we take and share them with our mentees.



John A. Szivek, PhD

Title: Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Described as: Honest and hardworking

What his nominators said: Dr. Szivek takes time to learn about his mentees on a personal level — their goals and challenges. What’s truly special about the mentorship Dr. Szivek has provided is not any one individual thing he has done; it is the duration of his mentorship and the number of opportunities he has afforded to me. He has been a mentor in my career and my life longer than anyone I have known outside my family.



Unni K. Udayasankar, MD

Title: Professor, Department of Medical Imaging

Described as: Inspirational and encouraging

What his nominators said: Dr. Udayasankar acknowledges the support he has had in his career and pays it forward. He has inspired me through his innovative teaching methods to search for new ways to impart knowledge upon our trainees. He has also been generous in including me in several research projects and invited manuscripts to jumpstart my own career.


The 2020 recipients were formally recognized at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson.