Two Faculty Members Awarded for Excellence in Mentoring

Kent State University’s inaugural year for the Excellence in Faculty Mentoring awards resulted in recognition for Jayne Moneysmith and Amoaba Gooden.

A result of the Great Place Initiative, and funded by the Office of the Provost, the awards underscore the commitment to endorse outstanding mentoring of faculty by faculty, and they acknowledge the time and dedication faculty mentors devote to fostering the career development and academic success of colleagues in the areas of research, creative activity, education, service and practice. Each award consists of a certificate, a cash award of $1,500, and recognition at an awards ceremony.

Jayne Moneysmith, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English on the Stark Campus and was nominated by five of her colleagues.  She now officially serves as the faculty professional development coordinator for Stark Campus, and organizes writing groups and offers reappointment, tenure and promotion workshops.

One nominee said that Moneysmith “has served as a mentor to faculty across the Stark Campus regardless of any official appointment as a mentor by her department.” As such, she has ushered dozens of new faculty members through the tenure process. Beyond that, she is a constant force for promoting faculty development, support for research, and evidence-based teaching practices on our campus through workshops, private consultations, and administrative decision-making.

Moneysmith is thrilled that the work of mentors is being formally recognized by the university and it is a privilege to work with so many wonderful colleagues.

Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chair of Pan African Studies on the Kent Campus. She was nominated by nine faculty members for extraordinary mentorship of underrepresented faculty members.

One nominee said “Dr. Amoaba Gooden exemplifies the definition of mentoring in every possible way…she never hesitates to serve as a sounding board and provide critical advice as needed.” 

Another nominee said “her presence, spirit and voice have been, and remain, necessary components of my (and others) success, trajectory and tenure at Kent State.”

Gooden said she is honored and humbled by the nomination and the award. By providing this service, her own journey at Kent State becomes clearer and more purposeful.

About Excellence in Faculty Mentoring

Candidates are assessed on the extent, quality and effectiveness of their mentoring. This may be demonstrated through a continued commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional development of their mentees, and through mentee success, development and advancement. Candidates are expected to consistently serve as role models for their colleagues by maintaining high standards of excellence within their own discipline and the greater institution. 

Candidates are also expected to continuously demonstrate many of the following characteristics:

•    Offer sound counsel and valuable information to their mentees to advance and develop the mentee’s own path to academic and professional success;
•    Generously share their valuable time to be accessible to their mentees;
•    Impart guidance and expertise in encouraging and critiquing the mentee’s research, teaching and scholarly works;
•    Involve peers and mentees in publications, grants and conferences, as well as readily share knowledge of such opportunities;
•    Encourage and include mentees in networking activities with other professionals;
•    Promote and make others aware of the contributions and value of their mentees; and
•    Help create a vital faculty and engaged academic community.

About the Great Place Initiative

The Great Place Initiative is University Level Initiative (ULI) 2.3 that was created in response to the results of the University-wide Climate Survey released in January 2017. In academic year 2016-17, President Warren charged Mark Polatajko, senior vice president for Finance and Administration; Alfreda Brown, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Jack Witt, vice president for Human Resources, to ensure ULI 2.3 was being addressed.

A Steering Committee, led by Mandy Munro-Stasiuk, associate provost for Academic Affairs, and Dana Lawless-Andric, associate vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, serves as the data-driven action body to ensure Kent State is a great place to learn, work and live.  

The additional assessments of the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Survey and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) also inform the work of the Great Place Initiative. Three subcommittees of staff, faculty and students, and two ad-hoc committees on race and disability, address issues and opportunities identified in the data.

In addition, teams have formed in all colleges, divisions and campuses. The Great Place Initiative will continue to review, assess and disseminate information, as well as implement programs and policies.

For more information on the Great Place Initiative, contact Mandy Munro-Stasiuk ( or Dana Lawless-Andric ( 

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 10:55am
UPDATED: Monday, July 8, 2019 - 2:41pm