Mortar Board Students Show USD Faculty Their Appreciation

One of the best annual showcases for thankfulness at the University of San Diego took place in the La Gran Terraza restaurant on Tuesday evening. Students who are in the USD Alcala Chapter of the national organization, Mortar Board, hosted their 20th annual Faculty Appreciation Dinner.

MortarBoard - 2019 FAD

The centerpiece of the program is to have students honor a favorite faculty member, one who has made a significant contribution to the academic achievement and personal growth of the USD Mortar Board members. Faculty honorees are recognized because they represent the ideals upon which Mortar Board adheres to — academic excellence, superior leadership and dedicated service.

Tuesday's program included a welcome by Mortar Board members and dinner event co-chairs Kelsey Morris and Tiffany Truong, an introduction by current USD Mortar Board President Cecilia Barnhill, the invocation was given by Nicholas Cohn and Barnhill returned, after dinner, to introduce the night's keynote speaker, Associate Provost for Faculty Research and Development and Psychological Sciences Professor, Dr. Jennifer Zwolinski.

Zwolinski provided some historical perspective when she shared a look at what was being talked about at a 1928 national Mortar Board gathering. There were words of life advice 91 years ago that remain good advice now for students and everyone, really, to hear and consider.

Having confidence in one's ability. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't know. Have the backing of influential people such as mentors. Keep a positive outlook and personality and to keep trying, don't give up.

The advice of strong mentorship applied to Tuesday’s program when Mortar Board students, one by one, praised a faculty member who has been a mentor, teacher, supporter, listener, a great resource of knowledge and more. A common phrase of praise was the student’s hope to live up to the kind of person their mentor is. Also, the two words that all professors long to hear was said in abundance: "Thank you."

Here's the list of USD faculty honorees and their respective disciplines (alphabetical order): Ryan Abrecht (History), Lisa Baird (Biology), Elizabeth Baker-Treloar (Environmental and Ocean Science), Jessica Bell (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Abigail Berk (Business-Management), Can Bilsel (Architecture), Terry Bird (Biology), James Bolender (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Eric Cathcart (Environmental and Ocean Sciences), Tim Clark (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Bryan Cornwall (Mechanical Engineering), John Demas (Business-Real Estate), Tammy Dwyer (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Arietta Fleming-Davies (Biology), Erin Fornelli (Honors Program), Melissa Gibbons (Mechanical Engineering), Lisa Hemminger (English), Valerie Hohman (Biology), Sr. Mary Hotz (English), Jeffrey Malecki (Music), Juliana Maxim (Architecture), Kristen McCabe (Psychological Sciences), Molly McClain (history), Geoffrey Morse (Biology), Jennifer Parkinson (Anthropology), Diane Pattison (Business-Accounting), Leonard Perry (Industrial and Systems Engineering), Jenna Prada (Biology), John Prunty (Business-Accounting), Lukasz Pruski (Mathematics), Alberto Lopez Pulido (Ethnic Studies), Tom Reifer (Sociology), Nicholas Riggle (Philosophy), Laura Rivard (Biology), Juan Carlos Rivas (Kroc School/Changemaker Hub), Alison Sanchez (Business-Economics), Joan Schellinger (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Leonora Simonovis-Brown (Spanish), Deborah Sundmacher (English), Karma Lekshe Tsomo (Theology and Religious Studies), Rebekah Wanic (Psychology Sciences), Randy Willoughby (Political Science and International Relations) and Mei Yang (Chinese).

— Ryan T. Blystone


USD News Center
(619) 260-4681