Maria Teresa Velez Outstanding Mentoring Award

Dr. Maria Teresa Velez was Associate Dean of the Graduate College and had a long career focused on improving diversity among the graduate student body and expanding international relationships.

The Outstanding Mentoring Award recognizes individuals with an outstanding commitment to mentoring within The University of Arizona. This prestigious award honors and celebrates people who are making a difference through mentoring and who have significantly demonstrated a commitment above and beyond, through their individual mentoring accomplishments, their creation of high quality mentoring experiences for others, and their efforts contributing to building a mentoring culture at the University of Arizona.

Two awards are presented annually at the Visionary Leadership Awards Ceremony and Reception to honor one outstanding mentor in the category of university staff/classified staff, and one in the category of faculty.

University staff (and classified staff), faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals. To be eligible, nominees should demonstrate excellent mentoring through their individual mentoring accomplishments, creation of high-quality mentoring experiences for others (that facilitate growth and development), and efforts that contribute to building a mentoring culture at the University of Arizona.

Nominations are now closed. 

Nominees and Awardees will be recognized December 1, 2022 at the CSW Symposium.

Evidence of Mentoring Excellence

  • Mentoring Excellence: Indicate how the person has made individual contributions to mentoring relationships. Please be specific and provide outcomes of mentoring where possible. You may describe your own mentor, an exemplary mentor who has mentored others, or a person who manages an outstanding mentoring program.
  • High-quality Mentoring: Please address how the individual provides opportunities for learning and development for others. How does this person foster high quality mentoring experiences?
  • Contributions Toward a Mentoring Culture: Please specifically address how the person has promoted a mentoring culture in the department, university, or larger community.

Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, M.B.B.S., M.P.H, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Health Promotion Sciences at the Mel & Enid College of Public Health

Dr. Madhivanan's commitment to mentoring and the difference it has made is outstanding. Some of her accolades:

“She  has  been an  outstanding  mentor  to  me  since  the moment I  first  met  her,  and I  have  since  seen her  mentor  many  others  around me  by  being  an amazing  role  model,  a  good listener,  passionate  about  her  field of study,  flexible, nonjudgemental,  collaborative,  and more."

“Truly,  Dr.  Madhivanan's  holistic  approach  to  mentorship  is  unparalleled.  She  is  persistently  challenging me  and  my  fellow  colleagues  to  “think  big”  and  providing  opportunities  for  our  resear ch  and academic development,  and  in  the  same  breath,  reminding  us  to  care  for  ourselves  and  families."

“Dr.  Madhivanan  provides  a  safe  space  to  ex press  ideas  and  she  motivates  us  to  pursue  our research  objectives  and  goals."

“Dr. Madhivanan makes it a priority to include and consider the thoughts and value of everybody on our team."

“She is a role model for all of those she mentors and is still modest about her many accomplishments. She reveals her vast experience in hidden gems of wisdom and stories she shares to connect with her mentees and emphasize the potential they possess. Dr. Madhivanan is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner and approaches any conversation with humility while also not being afraid to step up and stand for what is right and speak up as an expert on the subject's subjects."


  • Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award: Lucinda Rankin, Associate Professor, Educator Scholar Track, Department of Physiology
  • Outstanding Staff Mentoring Award: Karla Cruze-Silva, Senior Manager, Student Success, Thrive Center


  • Outstanding Mentor: Guadalupe Federico, Assistant Dean, College of Medicine Phoenix
  • Faculty Award: Stephanie Troutman, Assistant Professor, English
  • Appointed Professional Award: Marti Lindsey, Associate Director, Center for Toxicology


  • Classified Staff: Pamela Denney, Administrative Associate, Yavapai County Office
  • Appointed Professional: Amanda Gluski, Director of Student Engagement, College of Nursing
  • Faculty: Judith Gordon, Professor, College of Nursing


  • Appointed Professional: Catherine Merrill, Project Manager, Technical and Deputy Project Manager, Steward Observatory 
  • Classified Staff: Lesa Langan-DuBerry, Program Coordinator, Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry
  • Faculty: Lalitha Madhaven, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Evelyn F. Mcknight Brain Institute, Molecular and Cellular Biology, BIO5 Institute, Medicine, Neuroscience GIDP, Physiological Sciences GIDP