Six members of the WSU community were recognized as outstanding mentors at Wednesday’s recognition ceremony to conclude the annual Women & Leadership Forum series sponsored by WSU’s Women & Leadership Alliance.
A PowerPoint presentation at the ceremony featured all 113 mentor nominees before awards were made to the six chosen as Mentors of the Year in five categories. Judges for the administrative professional category could not decide between two exceptional nominees, so bestowed two awards.
Mentors of the Year are:

* Mary Meares, assistant professor in communication, teaching faculty award. She was nominated by graduate students as an engaging, effective, committed and student-centered teacher who has taught them to be better researchers and teachers themselves.

* Stephen Jones, professor/wheat breeder, crop and soil science, research faculty award. He was honored by nominees for setting high goals for his research program while investing his time, skills, knowledge and understanding to motivate and encourage his team to meet the goals.

* Yevgeniya Solodovnikova, international communications graduate student, student award. She was nominated for her work as a leader and mentor to hundreds of students as an academic adviser and also as a volunteer overseer of a broadcasting club and program.

* Denise Keeton, program support supervisor, international programs, civil service staff award. She was honored for mentoring employees during a time of transitional leadership in her office and for setting an example of enhancing communication and stepping in to serve whenever needed.
* Becky Morton, finance manager for veterinary and comparative anatomy, pharmacology and physiology, administrative professional staff award. She was nominated as a role model who inspires others to learn more, do more and be better through her leadership and service to others.

* Barbara Petura, associate vice president of university relations, administrative professional staff award. She was honored for always being available to share the wisdom gained from her years of experience at WSU, while at the same time trusting her staff to work through issue and learn in the process.