The recipient of the 2023 English Faculty Mentoring Award is Professor Christine Cooper-Rompato. Our English Faculty Mentoring Award was established by a generous donor who, many years ago, experienced the kind encouragement of faculty at a pivotal moment in her undergraduate career. This $5,000.00 award recognizes English Department faculty who have gone above and beyond in mentoring students.
Christine is a committed and enthusiastic mentor, both in and out of the classroom. Since her arrival at USU in 2004, Christine has mentored dozens of graduate and undergraduate students on dissertations and theses, but that formal mentoring role is only a small part of the story. Every semester Christine offers herself as a research project mentor to each and every one of her students, supporting dozens who have presented research at venues such as the USU Student Research Symposium. She stays in touch with her students and helps them into graduate schools and careers. Christine is also the Logan faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. She just returned from taking eight undergraduates to the annual conference in Denver, where they did us proud by winning the Literary Trivia Bowl. Christine is also the advisor for the English Club, which she founded in 2021 in order to help create a sense of community among our students with English-themed activities. Her support of students is inspiring, and we are delighted to recognize and honor her work in mentoring as recipient of the English Faculty Mentoring Award.
Christine’s experiences as a first-generation college student inform her mentorship. Christine reflects, “As a first-generation college student, I relied on mentors to help me navigate life in college, apply to and survive graduate school, and transition to becoming a professor. Mentors helped me understand that to fully support a mentee means to ensure that the person is familiar with, and has access to, resources pertaining to all aspects of their life—food, housing, mental and physical health, and intellectual development.”
“On a more celebratory note,” she remarks. “Committing to mentoring the whole student experience also means that I make myself available to attend the life events I’m invited to—theater and music performances, art openings, graduation parties, and other events including weddings (and receptions), baby blessings, baptisms, funerals, and so forth. I try to make the effort to attend every invitation that I can within about a 100-mile radius so that I can support that student during the big events in their lives.”
Christine has previously been named English Department Faculty Undergraduate Mentor of the Year (2021, 2013, and 2009), CHaSS Faculty Undergraduate Mentor of the Year (2013), and English Department Teacher of the Year (2008) as well as CHaSS Teacher of the Year (2008). The English Department is grateful to donors who have made it possible to recognize and celebrate Christine for her career-long dedication to student success and mentorship.