Lillian Gorman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is awarded the university’s 2023 Mentoring Future Scholars Award.
A specialist in Spanish sociolinguistics and Director of the Spanish as a Heritage Language Program, Gorman received numerous letters of nomination from graduate students she has mentored.
“Dr. Gorman has given me unparalleled support and mentorship in my graduate career, especially during times when I was questioning my potential and intellectual development. I have grown in my confidence and my belief in my own abilities thanks to her outstanding mentoring practice,” wrote one student nominator.
The award recognizes early career faculty whose dedication to graduate students through mentorship has been transformative. The intent of this award is to honor individuals whose dedication to nurturing future scholars in inclusive, equitable, innovative and holistically supportive ways has raised the standards of mentorship across the campus. The award includes a one-time allocation of $2,000 in university funds to facilitate further work.
“Your outstanding efforts have left a strong impression on those you have mentored, which in turn can have a ripple effect on many others,” wrote Provost Liesl Folks in announcing the award. “It is clear that you are not only successful in your own right, but also that you strive to help others meet their academic and professional goals and are passionate about doing so.”
Students lauded Gorman’s dedication in going above and beyond normal faculty support.
“Without Dr. Gorman’s mentorship and guidance, I can wholeheartedly say that I would never have completed the dissertation. Dr. Gorman saw the potential in me, even when I didn’t see it in myself,” wrote one student. “She went above and beyond as my advisor, checking in with me often not only to be accountable for the deadlines we set but also to make sure I was taking care of myself throughout the writing process. Her support meant so much to me, I was brought to tears when I received flowers from her as my virtual dissertation defense came to a close. I have come to see how rare that type of help and kindness can be in academia.”
“Dr. Gorman helped to demystify the often opaque, overwhelming, and difficult process of applying to graduate school,” wrote another. “With her guidance and support, I entered graduate school with a solid foundation of knowledge regarding my topic of interest. This foundation has propelled me through graduate school and is now essential to the topic of my dissertation.”
“As a first-generation college student, I have struggled to navigate the higher education system. Although the University of Arizona is a Hispanic Serving Institution, my college experience was marked by an absence of US Latinx/o/a professors in my courses,” wrote another. “I always felt welcomed, heard, understood, and, above all, respected in Dr. Gorman's classes. Not only did she make me feel represented, but I felt comfortable expressing myself and being myself.”
The formal Department nomination came from Department Head Santa Arias and Professor Ana Maria Carvalho.
“With her focus on the heritage field, she teaches and mentors future scholars about the significance of identity, finding our voice and authority, and recognizing our responsibilities toward the surrounding communities. Dr. Gorman’s vision for the program emphasizes the vital role of heritage languages and the values of holding on to and celebrating heritage culture,” Arias wrote.